In 2014 and 2015 the Northwest Straits Foundation conducted several oil spill preparedness community engagement workshops in all seven counties within the Northwest Straits.
Residents have seen increased oil tanker and cargo ship traffic in the Straits. How does an increase in tanker traffic affect the potential of a major oil spill? What will happen if a major oil spill occurs off the shores of San Juan County? How will it impact our coastal habitat and resources? Who is in charge of spill response and what happens behind the scenes? What is the role of elected officials and emergency managers during oil spills in our community? How can citizen volunteers be involved in the clean-up? These questions and others were answered at the workshops.
Local, state, and federal agency staff described their roles as a part of “Incident Command”, how they plan for and make decisions during spills, and how they strive to protect valuable natural and community resources.
The workshop was sponsored by the Northwest Straits Foundation, the seven county’s Marine Resources Committees, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, with funding support from the Environmental Protection Agency. The workshop was presented by VEDA Environmental in partnership with the Northwest Straits Foundation, the seven county’s Marine Resources Committee and Northwest Straits Commission.
The below presentation was created by the Department of Ecology for the Whatcom County workshop.