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June 19, 2019

3/27/2019 11:47:00 AM
Protect orcas against oil spills

Thank-you, Representative Lekanoff for your eloquent letter. I agree that oil spill prevention is key because once oil is spilled, very little of it is actually recovered.
Mechanical or human failures do occur at sea. On Saturday, March 23, a cruise ship, the Viking Sky, lost power in several engines off the rugged coast of Norway. Twenty-six-foot waves and high winds hampered the rescue of the passengers.
Fortunately, the ship was able to regain power and, with the assistance of two tug boats, made it safety to port on March 24. If the ship had not regained power and been assisted by powerful rescue tugs, it could well have gone aground.
The disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred 30 years ago on March 24th. Such an oil spill in our Salish Sea would likely propel the Southern Resident Orca whales to extinction.
To prevent shipping accidents and oil spills, we need to require that every oil barge be escorted by a tugboat as proposed in the legislation authored by Rep. Lekanoff.
If we continue to cross our fingers and hope that a major marine accident never occurs, we are risking the very survival of the orca whales and our marine fisheries.
Janet Alderton
Deer Harbor







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