Stop Oil Development in Coastal Habitat

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One oil spill or accident in Grays Harbor could wipe out a significant portion of the Red Knot population in the Pacific Flyway. Speak out against the development of oil terminals in Grays Harbor.

Critical coastal estuaries could face devastating consequences for birds if the oil industry is successful in expanding its operations in Grays Harbor in Washington state—a site visited by hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds every year. Three proposed new oil terminals would store roughly 91 million gallons of toxic crude, most of it for export to China. Our birds rely on this Pacific coast estuary to rest and refuel during migration. One oil spill would devastate this fragile marine ecosystem.

Write the Washington Department of Ecology and the City of Hoquiam today and tell them to reject the oil terminals.

Located on Washington’s outer coast, Grays Harbor is a critical spring migration stop-over site for Red Knots in the Pacific Flyway. A climate-endangered bird, the Red Knot uses the North Bay of Grays Harbor almost exclusively during the month of May to feed on rich marine food sources before flying non-stop to northwestern Alaska and Wrangel Island, Russia to nest and raise their young. One oil spill or accident could wipe out a significant portion of the Red Knot population in the Pacific Flyway.

Oil extraction, transport, and export across our country contributes to greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming. If the terminals are built, as much as 126,860 barrels of crude would arrive by train every day, another enormous source of risk. Oil trains have a bad safety record—in 2014 there were 141 oil train spills across the United States.

The deadline to speak out against two of the proposed terminals in Grays Harbor is October 29. Please add your voice in support of our birds. Tell the State of Washington that Grays Harbor is important to all of us who care about birds. We can’t afford to turn over our best coastal habitat to an industry that has shown it cannot prevent or contain oil spills. We’ve seen the devastating effects of oil spills in Alaska and the Gulf Coast—let’s keep that from happening in Washington.
Tell the Washington Department of Ecology and City of Hoquiam not to allow the development of oil terminals in Grays Harbor.

For your information and use, I am including a reproduction of the message I sent to the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology and the City of Hoquiam, Washington, on October 16, 2015, requesting that they NOT allow the development of the proposed crude oil terminals in Gray’s Harbor, Washington:

“Critical coastal estuaries could face devastating consequences for birds if the oil industry is successful in expanding its operations in Grays Harbor in Washington state–a site visited by hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds every year. Three proposed new oil terminals would store roughly 91 million gallons of toxic crude, most of it for export to China. Our birds rely on this Pacific coast estuary to rest and refuel during migration. One oil spill would devastate this fragile marine ecosystem.”

“Due to the enormous environmental degradation and very real risk of an oil spill occurring at the proposed Westway and Imperium oil terminals, and the significant negative impacts that would result to marine habitat, wildlife, the economy and the people who who care about our environment, and the fact that such monumental damages to our natural resources could never be adequately mitigated, I therefore respectfully request and plead that the Washington Department of Ecology and the City of Hoquiam not allow the development of these economically and environmentally unwise crude oil terminals in Grays Harbor.”
“Enabling and relying on the burning of fossil fuels as a way to satisfy society’s energy needs in this day and age of global warming and harmful climate change is dangerously wrong and unethical. This is particularly true in light of the fact hat today’s youth and future children, everywhere, will have no choice but to live their lives on a planet we here today are making less livable, and ultimately less survivable, by those who will come after us. It is therefore essential that we drastically reduce our individual and collective burning of fossil fuels, which we are presently doing now to a excess in practically everything we do (driving, flying, using electricity derived from fuel burning, heating our homes, businesses and institutions via burning fossil and other fuels), and by doing so, causing irreversible and dangerous harm to the atmosphere, oceans, wildlife and landscape that sustain us all, including so many other species of the world (the Red Knot population, …) as well as our future human and animal populations that will have to call Earth their home in the future, regardless of its condition.”
“Because of these reasons, I strongly support the protection of Grays Harbor, its marine life, and its people, and I therefore strongly urge that you reject the development of the proposed Westway and Imperium oil terminals because their ultimate impact will be too great.”
Please join me in sending public comments to oppose the development of oil terminals in this vital coastal habitat. It’s quick and easy to send your own comments at Audubon’s Action Center:
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About Mike Neuman

Environmentalist; Father; Senior Citizen; Husband, School Crossing Guard; Green Bay Packer Fan; Wisconsin Badger Fan; Animal Lover; Humanitarian

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