Sunday, February 13, 2011

Clean sweep at Willows Beach

No dead birds were found on my survey today. Whew.

Not really surprising since oil, or oiled animals, from the boat that sank (see previous post below) would have had to come all the way in the Juan de Fuca Strait then hang a left to come up Haro Strait, and weave around some islands to land on Willows Beach.

That's not impossible when you consider the complexity of tides and currents, plus a big Pacific storm last night, but I didn't find anything more alarming than driftwood at the high tide line.

Hats off to the people at COASST (Costal Observation and Seabird Survey Team at the University of Washington) for getting the word out and co-ordinating beach surveyors throughout the Pacific Northwest for a fast response to this incident. I'll be interested to know if people found oil in other locales.

In my experiences with fisheries and forestry, our neighbours to the south tend to do a better job managing and protecting their resources than we do up here. In addition to powerful environmental organizations, the state departments responsible actually do their jobs instead of playing politics. Imagine.

I know that will surprise many Canadians, but our image of ourselves as environmental stewards has never been true. We just had so much natural wealth it took a lot of chipping away at it to reveal that fish, trees and water can disappear. And if we don't change our ways, they will.

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