Updated Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections Released

Posted November 18, 2021 at 5:54 am by

Photo by @Truba at Twenty20.com

San Juan Coun­ty, WA, USA. – The recent­ly updat­ed Sal­ish Sea Ves­sel Traf­fic Pro­jec­tions (PDF — Nov. 2021) pro­vid­ed by Friends of the San Juans shows that at least a 25% increase in large, ocean-going com­mer­cial ves­sel traf­fic could occur if all of the pro­posed new and expand­ing ter­mi­nal and refin­ery projects are per­mit­ted and con­struct­ed, as com­pared with 2020.

Twelve of the 22 projects would add at least 2,634 annu­al ves­sel tran­sits to and from Sal­ish Sea ports in British Colum­bia. Canada’s Trans Moun­tain Pipeline Expan­sion project and the pro­posed new con­tain­er ship ter­mi­nal at Roberts Bank account for almost half of the pro­ject­ed increase in ves­sel traf­fic that has been quantified.

Click to see full infographic (PDF)

What is sig­nif­i­cant about this Sal­ish Sea Ves­sel Traf­fic Pro­jec­tion is that the 25% increase does not include any of the ten new, expan­sion, or rede­vel­op­ment projects in Wash­ing­ton state. Sev­er­al of these projects will like­ly result in increased ocean-going ves­sel traf­fic but lack any review of the poten­tial increased ves­sel traf­fic-relat­ed envi­ron­men­tal impacts and lack any con­sid­er­a­tion of alter­na­tives or mit­i­ga­tion measures.

Ves­sel traf­fic impacts the crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered South­ern Res­i­dent killer whales by dis­rupt­ing their for­ag­ing, affects their abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate and cap­ture scarce prey, and increas­es the risk of fatal ship strikes. Addi­tion­al ves­sel traf­fic also increas­es the risk of acci­dents and oil spills. A major oil spill could cause the South­ern Res­i­dents’ extinc­tion and would impact the entire marine ecosys­tem and our envi­ron­men­tal, cul­tur­al, and eco­nom­ic resources.

“It is unac­cept­able that these Wash­ing­ton-based projects are being per­mit­ted with­out assur­ances that any increased ves­sel traf­fic and asso­ci­at­ed impacts to the marine habi­tats and imper­iled species will be addressed. This includes endan­gered Chi­nook salmon and South­ern Res­i­dent killer whales,” said R. Brent Lyles, Friends of the San Juans’ Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. “If our region and our state are seri­ous about the long-term health of the Sal­ish Sea, it’s obvi­ous that per­mits must be con­di­tioned to require any increased ves­sel traffic’s impacts to be addressed.”

Friends of the San Juans issued its first Sal­ish Sea Ves­sel Traf­fic Pro­jec­tions in 2015 to pro­vide the pub­lic and deci­sion-mak­ers with com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion about projects through­out the Sal­ish Sea that would increase large com­mer­cial ocean-going ves­sel traf­fic and asso­ci­at­ed cumu­la­tive impacts. The Sal­ish Sea Ves­sel Traf­fic Pro­jec­tions info­graph­ic (PDF) illus­trates the need for cumu­la­tive envi­ron­men­tal impact analy­ses when ves­sel traf­fic increas­es result from new or expand­ing ter­mi­nal and refin­ery projects. For more infor­ma­tion go to sanjuans.org/ssvtp/.

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.


Categories: Environment, Safety, Wildlife

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0