The Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections shows 18 proposed expansions or recently completed projects, which cumulatively would add an additional 5,300 annual vessel transits to and from ports in British Columbia and Washington State.
The Salish Sea is home to over 8 million people and is one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich inland seas.
Each year 12,400 large vessels, including over 1,322 oil tankers, charge through our fragile waters, past our communities, and through the homes of the 113 threatened and endangered species who call these waters home. Proposals to increase international shipping by 43% would turn the Salish Sea into a tanker highway, posing potentially catastrophic danger.
Between 1995 and 2005 1,462 accidents and 1,159 incidents were reported in Washington State. Of those, 14 were oil spills from tankers, releasing roughly 13,709 gallons of oil.
If all currently proposed projects are permitted, accident frequency would increase by 18%, and oil spill risk increases by 68% in Puget Sound*. In Haro Strait/Boundary Pass, along the San Juan Islands National Monument and in critical habitat for endangered orca whales and Chinook salmon, the threat of an oil spill jumps 375%.
* The Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment by Washington Department of Ecology, 2013