Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fuel Spill Update

Remember that fuel slick we saw in Tod Inlet last week, Sunday July 12? I wrote a note to Columbia Fuels asking if it could possibly be lingering fuel from the spill in Goldstream River back in April. There's been a reply from Shawn Samborsky, Environmental Manager of Parkland Fuel Corporation.
It's a pretty helpful note. I won't quote it here, but it basically says that Tod Inlet is several kilometres along Saanich Inlet from the Goldstream River estuary. Most of the spilled fuel from the April spill seems to have either evaporated or dissolved within a few hundred metres of the estuary right away, so it probably never reached Tod Inlet. It's not at all likely that the fuel would still be floating months later, even on the surface of a quiet, sheltered inlet.
Shawn Samborsky also passed on word about the Tod Inlet slick to the Department of Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment. It's good that attention is being paid to this smaller fuel spill.
As small boat users, we kayakers have the opportunity to notice environmental problems such as this fuel spill. Sometimes we're the first to see a problem. It's important for small boat users to add to our safety preparations -- not just by wearing a PFD and carrying a rope and taking a first aid course, but by learning the local phone numbers for reporting environmental problems. I feel better prepared now, knowing these phone numbers.

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