In the past 24 hours there have been two victories for British Columbia's coastal waters!
1) MP's in the House of Commons voted in favour of a motion to ban oil tankers on BC's north coast.
This ban would prevent bulk oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. It's just the beginning - continual support is needed as this motion now moves to become legislation - but it's a hopeful start. It means that Parliament is listening to British Columbians, whose majority do not want oil tanker traffic on their coast.
As a company that has sailed in these areas for over 35 years, Bluewater knows how important this motion is. Oil tanker traffic in these ecologically sensitive waters - waters that are also some of the most volatile in BC - just doesn't make sense. Enbridge claimed in a desperate advertisement yesterday - an ad that mentions (short-term) job creation for First Nation communities, but fails to mention how many of them don't want those jobs - that 1500 tankers have safely travelled in our waters.
We know it only takes one to mess that up.
Read more about the motion to ban oil tankers on our coast here.
2) Yesterday, the Sierra Club of BC and other conservation groups won a landmark federal court decision aimed at protecting endangered orca whales.
In June 2010 Ecojustice, representing the Sierra Club of BC and other interested groups, made the argument to federal courts that by failing to protect important aspects of northern and southern resident orca habitat - such as salmon prey availability and unpolluted water - the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was failing to protect these species at risk.
This court case win means that "the government must now take immediate action to ensure that DFO obeys the law" (Susan Howatt, Sierra Club BC campaign director) and makes steps toward protecting not only the orca, but also their habitat.
Bluewater guests often have the opportunity to view the southern and northern resident orca on many of our trips, especially around Northern Vancouver Island. We know how important a healthy habitat is and we are thrilled with this victory.
That being said, this victory is not just a victory for orca - it is a triumph for other species that've also been listed as At-Risk, many of who we see on Bluewater trips, such as sea otters, fin whales, humpback whales, grizzly bears, ancient murrelets and great blue heron.
Read more about the courts decision here.