We had to make the terrible decision of which areas to protect and which to sacrifice as the tidal currents rapidly spread the oil. 800 feet of boom were sent to protect Deer Harbor lagoon, with it’s blue herons and bald eagles – but there was nothing we could do for the Wasp Islands, part of the new San Juan Islands National Monument.
Of course a tanker spill, with millions of gallons, would be a thousand times worse, damaging the environment, fisheries, and tourism for decades. Newer, more toxic oil is being transported through the region from the fracking of the Bakken Shale and the Alberta Tar Sands. The only way to protect these islands is to close the terminals on both sides of the border and ban the sipping of oil through these waters.
It is a tall order, and will take years, but it is the only way to truly protect the San Juan Islands.