Friday, September 26, 2008

Off-shore drilling does more harm than good LETTER - THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

I urge Congress to put sound policy ahead of politics when debating high gas prices. Some policies being floated in Washington, D.C., could have disastrous consequences for our coastal economies.

Some proposals would open up Washington shores for oil drilling. Tourism is one of the backbones of our economy. The impact a drilling operation would have on coastal hotels, fishing industry and related businesses, not to mention beaches, is unfathomable. No matter what Big Oil says, some oil and toxic waste spills seem inevitable with new exploration off our coasts. The risk seems to far outweigh the reward.

With less than 3 percent of the world's oil, the United States could drill every national park, wildlife refuge, and coastline and still need to import 60 percent of the oil we use based on current demand. Drilling won't deliver a drop of new oil for at least 10 years.

I recognize the need for Congress to take action on gas prices. I hope the Congressional offshore drilling moratorium remains intact, and Congress focuses on energy solutions that will really help at the pump.

Brian Smart


Brian is an active member of Surfrider Foundation's Northwest Straits Chapter.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Neah Bay emergency response tug assists fishing vessel

The emergency rescue tug stationed at Neah Bay, Hunter, assisted a 106-foot fishing vessel on Wednesday after it lost propulsion at sea.

The Papado II was about 27 miles southwest of Cape Flattery when it became disabled. Sea water leaked into the engine room, causing the main engine to become inoperable. The Papado II was in no immediate danger but was drifting at sea.

A standby emergency response tug has been on station at Neah Bay since spring 1999. The state has directly funded the tug since year 2000. Funding for the tug ends on June 30, 2009. The tug has stood by or assisted 41 ships that were disabled or had reduced maneuvering or propulsion capability while transporting oil and other cargo along the coast and through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The actions helped ensure the ships didn't drift onto rocks and spill oil.

Ecology’s Neah Bay Emergency Response Tug information page:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is updating their management plan

Since its designation in 1994, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary has combined ocean research, management and policy, and education programs to protect one of America's most significant ocean treasures.

This fall, the sanctuary is beginning a thorough re-examination of their management priorities. This is a pubic process and will be greatly enhanced by the input of people who use and care about Washington’s outer coast.

Please attend an upcoming public meeting:
Port Angeles: 9/29/08, 6-9pm, Peninsula College Longhouse South Campus
Neah Bay: 9/30/08, 6-9pm, Makah Marina Conference Center, Makah Reservation, Bayview Ave
La Push: 10/1/08, 6-9pm, A-Ka-Lat Center, Quileute Reservation on La Push Road
Ocean Shores: 10/2/08, 6-9pm, Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W Chance a La Mer NW
Westport: 10/3/08, 6-9pm, Westport Maritime Museum, 2201, Westhaven Drive
Olympia: 10/4/08, 2-5pm, Governor Hotel, Washington Room, 621 S. Capitol Way
Seattle: 10/5/08, 7-10pm, Seattle Aquarium, Pier 59, 1483 Alaskan Way

For more information, visit: