NEWS RELEASE · 29th July 2010
Friends of Wild Salmon
As Enbridge crews clean up a massive pipeline oil spill in Michigan, salmon conservation advocates say a similar spill in northern B.C. would seriously harm wild salmon and water resources.
An Enbridge pipeline carrying oil between Indiana and Ontario broke Monday, spilling 4 million litres of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River.
"Given our salmon resources in northwest B.C., we simply can't risk seeing a major oil pipeline spill happen here," said Friends of Wild Salmon chair Jennifer Rice. "There are many complicating factors that would make an oil cleanup in our northern rivers much more difficult than what crews are facing in Michigan."
Enbridges proposed 1,170-kilometre pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast would cross nearly 1,000 waterways. These include vital salmon spawning streams in the upper Fraser, Skeena, Copper and Kitimat Rivers.
Salmon rivers threatened by an oil spill from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline include:
- Stewart River (Fraser tributary) Pink, Chinook, sockeye, coho
- Salmon River (Fraser tributary) Pink, Chinook, sockeye, coho
- Morice River (Skeena tributary) Chinook, sockeye, coho, pink, steelhead
- Copper River (Skeena tributary) Chinook, chum, sockeye, pink, steelhead
- Kitimat River Chinook, chum, sockeye, pink, coho, steelhead
Longtime Morice fishing guide Tony Harris says log jams and side channels in rivers such as the Morice River are unique salmon rearing areas and would collect oil as it drifted downstream. The Morice River contributes as much as 30 percent of the Skeena's total chinook and steelhead escapement and would be devastated by an oil spill.
"There is no way to clean up an oil spill on the Morice. Not only would all the log jams have to be removed but the gravel would need to be excavated and that would mean losing important habitat. It would be a no-win situation for fish," said Harris.
"Each time Enbridge has a spill, they tell us they have learned from their mistakes. We won't allow our northern salmon rivers to become the next lesson in this companys trial and error learning process, said Rice."
Comment by les wamough on 5th August 2010
Add to your list of rivers the Skeena below the Copper.and the Clore, the Bulkley. Why are we putting crude into a pipline? This is TAR The Chinese are importers of OUR oil to keep their refineries running so the can EXPORT good oit and other bi products. We dont /wont want any refineries built in Canada to create JOBS FOR CANADIANS.
Comment by Moe Naguib on 29th July 2010
What are the viable energy options for our country and planet? There must be something less risky, that doesn't pose the extreme risk to our rivers and oceans that transporting crude does. Our loyal Opposition in government needs to look into this, and present these options to Canada, if they are effective at it, it may even trigger a change in government.