Commercial vessel traffic lanes in the Salish Sea overlay the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ critical habitat. Washington State is the fifth largest refinery state in the nation, with five refineries located in the Salish Sea, in addition to the major cargo shipping terminals in Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett. British Columbia’s Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada with 27 major marine cargo terminals.
This class will provide information about commercial vessel traffic impacts and oil spill risk in the Salish Sea, with a focus on impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales. Oil spill risk analyses and current vessel traffic data as well as projected increases in vessel traffic from new and expansion projects will be presented. The class also will provide information on opportunities to advocate for Southern Resident Killer Whale protection and recovery actions.