Call it a warning shot across our bows. Yesterday’s woefully impotent Federal response to a relatively minor fuel spill from a ship anchored in English Bay was a bleak preview of how safe Vancouver’s treasured beaches are going forward under the continued protection of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Ranking BC Conservative MP James Moore was once again
According to retired former Kitsilano Coast Guard Station Commander, Fred Moxey, this CCG environmental response vessel formerly stationed at Kits is sitting unused at the Sea Island Hovercraft Base.
quick to defend his government’s decision to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station in 2013 saying it would not have made a difference, yet the station’s all weather cutter was equipped with spill containment booms and an environmental response vessel stationed there appears to have been just the right craft to keep this spill contained and off of our beaches-a necessary feature when recreation and industry share the same busy waterspace. The hovercraft meant to replace Kits Station is useless as an oil response vessel and can’t go anywhere close; sort of like when the poop hits the fan. Mr. Moore still doesn’t get it and today his competition, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced that, if elected, his party will reopen the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station. The ball’s in your court, Mr. Moore; we treasure our marine environment.
Since the spill was first publicised yesterday morning the JSCA has been monitoring the ocean and shoreline in the vicinity of Jericho and Spanish Bank. Though we can easily see the source ship, approximately 3km north of the Jericho Sailing Centre, ocean currents have thankfully spared us from the same fate as our adjoining waters off Kitsilano & English Bay Beaches to the east as well as Ambleside and Dundarave to the north. Spill response crews are still working to clean-up the remnants of the spill off of the North Shore toward the Sandy Cove area. We do not expect this spill to affect ocean recreation activities for the users of the Jericho Sailing Centre and will continue to monitor the ocean and shoreline in this area and up Spanish Bank. We ask our users to remain vigilant for signs of the slick while on the water and remind them not to touch this toxic substance. Further to this, we recommend you confine your ocean activity to the SW quadrant of the inlet for the next couple of days and stay at least 2 ship lengths away from the Marathassa, 3 km directly north of Jericho.
Anyone interested in helping with shoreline clean-up in English Bay is encouraged to contact the City’s volunteer line at (604)873-7000.