Letter: Do we want more freighters in the Salish Sea?

Wednesday, March 30 2016

I have lived all my life by the Salish Sea. There were very few freighters plying these waters 60 years ago when I was a kid fishing for shiners under the dock at Yellow Point. But there were huge ling cod and there was peace and quiet for orcas and little kids. It supported so much life including my own that it’s felt sacred to me ever since.

But now, to some, the Salish Sea is nothing more than an industrial corridor. Now with the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning to Burnaby bringing us up to 30 tankers a month instead of six, now with huge increases in dirty coal planned to cross these waters due to the approved Fraser Surrey Docks expansion, now with the big push for LNG shipping from Bamberton and Wood Fibre, now with all this freighter traffic “coming down the pipe,” the Salish Sea will indeed be reduced to an industrial corridor.

Already overflow traffic from Vancouver is parked in several spots in the Gulf Islands and another five parking spaces up against the northeast shore of Gabriola are currently being sought. And of course this too will continue to expand as long as we let it.

My question is this:

1) Given that already many freighters enter our waters bringing us junk from China that takes up temporary residency in our homes only to be quickly thrown into landfills and,

2) given that already many freighters come here to ship fossil fuels over the sea to be used to create even more junk and,

3) given that said fossil fuels being used to create said junk are also buttering the planet with oil and clogging the air with greenhouse gasses and,

4) given that these oils and gasses are finding their way into aquifers worldwide and,

5) given that landfill toxins from all that junk are also leaching into aquifers worldwide and,

6) given that said greenhouse gasses are creating crazy weather all over the place and will likely blow the oily guts of many of said freighters onto our shores…I mean really, haven’t we had enough? Haven’t we had our fill?

Let’s take back this land!

As a start, please go to www.gabriolaanchorrage.org and help Gabriolans avoid freighter anchorages off their northeast shores.

~ Bill Henderson, Salt Spring Island