Turn Point from Stuart Island
Marine Managers Workshop 2017

Marine Managers Workshop 2017

Environmental & Socioeconomic Impacts of Vessel-Related Spills to Salish Sea Communities*

Explore the impacts of a hypothetical large oil spill occurring near Turn Point between San Juan County and the Gulf Islands. Understand how affected communities address these impact.

April 3-4, 2017 at Camp Orkila, Orcas Island

The Washington State Ferries Spring 2017 Schedule with international sailings. Beginning April 2, 2017

Open to the Public  -  Space is limited

Request an Invitation


Prior Day - Sunday, April 2

Registration Beginning at 3:00 PM

Dinner & Musics 6:00 PM

Day 1: Staging - Monday, April 3 

Breakfast 7:30 - 8:45
Registration 8:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 9:15 Invocation - Patti Gobin - Special Projects Manager for the Tulalip Tribes 
9:15 - 9:30 Welcome - Jamie Stephens, San Juan County Council -  Author of Pipeline project poses major threat to San Juan region
9:30 - 10:15 Keynote - Dave Anderson, author of Spill: Oil and Orcas in the Salish Sea
10:30 - 11:15  Ecosystem Baseline -

Dr. Joseph Gaydos - Science Director - SeaDoc SocietyEvaluating Threats in Multinational Marine Ecosystems: A Coast Salish First Nations and Tribal Perspective and author of The Salish Sea

Dr. Russ Dixon, Program & Policy Director Rain Coast Conservation Foundation - Working Toward an Oil Free Coast
11:15 - 12:00 Socioeconomic Baseline - Jennifer Mayberry - City of Vancouver - Evidence Page
Lunch 12:00 - 1:00
1:00 - 1:30  The Spill and Impacts

David Roberts - Scenerios from Oil Spill response capacity evaluation
1:30 - 2:30 Response

Shawn Orr - Spills Program - Washington State Department of Ecology 

Brian Young (invited) - Pacific Pilotage Authority  - New Wavier in response to the Bella Bella Spill

Lynda Sturgess - Coast Guard -
Break 2:30 - 2:45
2:45 - 5:00 Impacts

  • Environmental Impact  - Dr. Kim Sundberg
  • Regional Economic Impacts of an Oil Spill - Lovel Pratt
  • Social Health - Dr. Frank James - Rebekah Paci-Green

Adjourn 5:00

Dinner 6:00

Day 2 - Responding

Breakfast 7:30 - 8:45
Convene 9:00
9:00 - 9:15 Review of the Previous Day
9:15 - 10:45 Facilitated Group Discussions: “Look Backward, Look Forward, Look Around”

  • Ecosystem Impacts
  • Economics System Impacts
  • Social/Health Impacts
  • Response Impacts


11:00 - 12:00 Impart impactful information to enable attendees to craft protective measures for their communities
Adjourn  - Noon

The citizen volunteers of the San Juan County Marine Stewardship Committee (MRC)

help protect the ecology, sustain the economy and protect the ancient heritage of the San Juan County Volunteer Marine Stewardship Area.  Each year we gather professionals to bring focus to important topics.

Major shipping traffic moves in and out of regional ports through the marine waters that make up 72% of San Juan County. The County citizen and government recognize that many advanced technologies and protocols have improved shipping safety, yet analysis requested by the County revealed gaps in assuring that the best response and prevention technologies are in place.

To comprehend the value of safety we must have a foresight of the environmental and socio-economic impact of a large vessel oil spill to the San Juan Islands and the central salish sea. The 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and the 2010 Deep Water Horizon are comparative examples to the potential impact to the San Juan Islands. We will explore the impact of these events and compare other regional models to determine a scope for understanding the potential impacts to San Juan County and the Salish Sea region.

On-water routes used from U.S. response bases. From: San Juan County Oil Spill Response


Northwest Straits Initiative, Puget Sound Partnership, San Juan County.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


MMW Event Committee
David Tribolet, Laura Jo Severson, Laura Arnold, Patti Gobbin, Kathleen Dolsen, Sam Gibboney

Facilitator: David Roberts, Kulshan Institute
Event Support: WWU Resilience Institute 
Staff: Arnie Klaus

The potential impact of an oil spill described in excerpts from a letter from the San Juan County Council

San Juan County's economy is highly dependent on tourism, real estate, and construction.  It is driven by our relatively pristine environment. An oil spill or fuel spill into the Salish Sea resulting from the project, an oil tanker collision, or other vessel malfunction would have a negative impact on San Juan County's environment, economy and property values.

Our nearshore is home to forage fish such as sand lance, herring, and surf smelt. Our waters and nearshore are dominated by Frazier River system salmon, juveniles going to sea and adults returning. A spill could devastate this system.

Should there be a spill incident, it would probably reach land; it would irreparably harm property values on the water and inland. Our County relies on its rural character and environmentally concerned residents and tourists to boost land values. There is very little data on the long term impacts of a spill on communities and property values. There is less still on communities where the property values are as high as San Juan County's. 

A study by Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED) showed homes directly impacted by oil spills face a 10 to 40 per cent decline in value, while area properties had value fall from between five and eight per cent.

A spill in the Haro Straits would mean a minimum loss of $33,840,000 US in property values alone before clean up starts. 


City of Vancouver Evidence Library submitted to the National Energy Board of Canada
Marine Managers Workshop 2017