Turn Point from Stuart Island
Marine Managers Workshop

Marine Managers Workshop

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

What would be the impacts of a hypothetical large oil spill occurring near Turn Point between San Juan County and the Gulf Islands?  How would affected communities address these impact?

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


Agenda - PDF


Marine Managers Workshop Summary

Presentation to the Northwest Straits Commission

Studies Related to Health Effects

Resources provided by San Juan County Public Health Officer, Dr. Frank James

Select Summary of City of Vancouver Evidence Page

Short- and long-term health impacts of marine and terrestrial oil spills

Health Effects Oil Spills - November, 2014

Air Quality Impacts from Simulated Oil Spills in Burrard Inlet & English Bay 


San Juan County Oil Spill Response Capacity Evaluation (.pdf, 20 Mg), 2015, Nuka Research and Planning

On November 29, 2016, the Government of Canada granted approval for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 required conditions from the National Energy Board (NEB). OVERVIEW and DETAILS of conditions.

City of Vancouver, BC evidence page on potential environmental, social and economic impacts of oils spills. Video of talk by Jennifer Mayberry

Oil Spill Response Analysis for Tsleil-Waututh Nation; the City of Vancouver; and the Tsawout First Nation

Video by City of Vancouver on the cost of an oils spill to the Vancouver "brand"

Economic Impact of an Oil Spill, Whatcom Watch 2015, Lovel Pratt

Multi-Year SpillMap card dispersal patterns: A project is a collaboration between Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Georgia Strait Alliance and US partner Friends of the San Juans.

Salish Sea Oil Risk Mitigation Workshop, 2016 Washington State Department of Ecology

New Wavier in response to the Bella Bella Spill

A river that has the same legal status as a person. Whanganui River Claims Settlement Bill. The indigenous Whanganui Iwi have a saying: "I am the river and the river is me."

Ganges and Yamuna rivers granted same legal rights as human beings.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas

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