The November 2016 Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections infographic shows 20 proposed new, expanded or recently completed projects, which cumulatively would add an additional 4,286 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.
In 2017 there were over 16,000 commercial marine vessel transits in addition to the more than 165,000 ferry transits in the Salish Sea. This existing commercial vessel traffic causes noise impacts and oil spill risk, threatening the shores of our communities and the fragile marine waters that are home to 119 threatened and endangered species, including Southern Resident Killer Whales. Oil spill risks and increasing greenhouse gas emissions also come from the rail and pipelines that transport fossil fuels along the shores of the Salish Sea. Proposals to increase commercial shipping would increase vessel noise impacts and oil spill risk, further impacting the health of the Salish Sea.
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.
Of all these projects, the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline would result in the greatest oil spill risk: a 9-fold (800%) increase of a 20,000 barrel or larger spill over the next ten years in Haro Strait/Boundary Pass.*
*Draft VTRA (Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment), 2015