The Orca Oil Spill Aftermath: HELP!

Planet EarthThis update is from Paul & Helena Spong of the ORCA LAB

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Subject: Robson Bight oil spill action alert
From: orcalab

Hello everyone,

Many of you already know about the August 20th oil spill that happened when a barge tipped its load of logging equipment into the waters of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve in British Columbia, Canada. The Reserve was created in 1982 to protect vital orca habitat. Nearly 60 orcas, fully 25% of the Northern Resident orca community, were exposed to toxic diesel vapours in the aftermath of the accident. Severe health consequences (e.g. lung lesions, pneumonia) are possible, though it may take considerable time for them to appear. Next year, we may know more.

In the meantime, the equipment, which carried 19,000L of diesel and other oils, remains on the bottom in an unknown state. It needs to be inspected as a matter of urgency, before winter storms arrive, to assess the remaining danger. Canada's Coastguard, the responsible agency, is dragging its feet on the inspection issue, despite pressure from provincial and local governments, and the public at large. NGOs, led by the Living Oceans Society and Greenpeace, have vowed to undertake the inspection if Canada's federal government refuses. The orcas are simply too important to allow uncertainty.

We are writing this to ask you to do two things that will help:

1. Go to the Living Oceans web site and send a message to Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans:

2. Contribute what you can to NGO funds being raised for the underwater inspection. $16,000 more is needed:

Canada's government needs to hear our voices. NGOs need our support, so they can act if governments refuse.
What we are asking will take just a few minutes of your time, and money you can afford. Please act now.

For the orcas, thank you very much!

Paul & Helena

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