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Robson Bight update: Good News

Planet Earth
April 19, 2008

Robson Bight update:
Good news!

Hello everyone,

We have good news. Yesterday, British Columbia’s Environment Minister Barry Penner announced that Canada’s federal government will cooperate with the province in removing the diesel fuel tanker now lying underwater in the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight. Though no definite timing was stated, subsequent comments by Minister Penner clearly indicated that officials are aware that the northern resident orcas are expected to return by early summer.

The decision represents real progress on an issue that should have impelled immediate action of the part of governments. The aftermath of the August 20th accident saw a smoke & mirrors dance (“no problem”) that delayed inspection of the wreckage, and then, once the dire situation had been dramatically revealed in underwater imagery, we were treated with stalling instead of planning. It took considerable effort from the public side to convince our governments to do an underwater inspection of the wreckage in the first instance, and then even more effort to convince them to do what was obvious from the outset. Now, finally, we have a decision, but is it in time?

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Sunken equipment to be raised

Wildlife News
Goal is to protect habitat of Robson Bight frequented by whales

Sandra McCulloch
Vancouver Sun
Friday, April 18, 2008

VICTORIA - The provincial and federal government announced Friday a fuel tanker and other logging equipment containing pollutants will be recovered from the ocean floor near Robson Bight.

But the salvage operation might not happen before the annual visit of orcas in June, said Environment Minister Barry Penner.
"We'll try to avoid the time when we know the time they'll be there just in case something went wrong," Penner said, adding that "it's possible" the operation will be delayed until after the migration.

"My preference is to do it first but for the last week or two my ministry staff have been canvassing various salvage operators to check on their availability and interest...and it's going to be a real challenge to marshal enough equipment and resources to do this before mid-June."

Eleven pieces of equipment tumbled off a barge on Aug. 20, 2007 into 350 metres of water within an area designated as an environmental reserve.


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Bowie Seamount Designated as Canada’s Seventh Marine Protected Area

Conservation & Preservation
Vancouver, B.C. – Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, today announced that British Columbia’s Bowie Seamount has been designated as Canada’s newest Marine Protected Area. A formal joint ceremony marking the event took place on Saturday, April 19, 2008 in Skidegate with Parliamentary Secretary Randy Kamp and Guujaaw, President of the Council of Haida Nation.

"Bowie Seamount is an oceanic oasis in the deep sea, a rare and ecologically rich marine area, and our government is proud to take action to ensure it is protected," said Minister Lunn. "By working in partnership with the Council of the Haida Nation and groups like the World Wildlife Fund-Canada, we are ensuring this unique treasure is preserved for future generations."

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will work together with the Haida Nation, community groups and an advisory team, including the province, to effectively manage Bowie Seamount under Canada’s Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy, and preserve the health of Canada’s oceans and marine environment.
Named Sgaan Kinghlas, meaning Supernatural Being Looking Outward, by the Haida, who played a key role in its establishment as a Marine Protected Area, Bowie Seamount is located 180 kilometres west of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in the northeast Pacific. The new Marine Protected Area will protect a complex of three offshore seamounts – Bowie, Hodgkins and Davidson Seamounts.
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Danger Still Lurks Below for Robson Bight Orcas

Planet Earth

March 27, 2008
Robson Bight update : Waiting, waiting …


... the diesel might remain inside the tanker, or it might not. If it is released when orcas are present, the result could be catastrophic. - Dr. Paul Spong

When a barge dangerously laden with logging equipment, including a tanker truck of diesel fuel, spilled its load in the heart of the world’s best known orca habitat – the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight - last August 20th, 2007,  whale lovers were outraged, environmentalists dismayed, the public alerted, and even the oil industry took note.

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Marching in to Spring

Wildlife News
Spring makes its official appearance in the Northern Hemisphere at the Vernal Equinox. This is the moment at which there is exactly the same amount of daylight as there is darkness in your location. The exact moment varies from year to year and also depends on your partcicular latitude.

In Victora, B.C. Spring makes its official arrival Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 22:49. (that's 10:49 PM)

Spring has many activites and events to celebrate and learn from, some of which you may have already noticed on our calendar.

If you are able to travel to Vancouver Island, make plans to drop in to the Rathtrevor Beach Nature House  near Parksville.
They have drop in hours beginning on March 20 and select days in April.

On Saturday March 29, wherever in the world you live, turn out your lights at 8PM for 1 hour and participate in Earth Hour!


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