Monday, January 19, 2015

Gee Whiz, another oil spill on the Gorge

The big news over the weekend locally was another fuel oil spill affecting the Gorge waterway. Well, there was terrific news on Gecko Paddler about Robyn and rolling, but that wasn't in the newspaper. You can read at this link  to the Times-Colonist about the latest fuel oil spill.

Photo by Adrian Lam for the Times-Colonist newspaper
Fuel spills are a serious issue for we urban-based kayakers. Spills of various fuels or hydrocarbons can cause real problems for many living things in fresh or salt water. We paddlers are often the people in the right place to spot a fuel spill soon after it happens. If we see oil sheen on water, or spilled fuel on the ground we're supposed to report it.

We wrote about this issue here on Kayak Yak back in 2011, and we're still writing about it. Since that post, members of our paddle group have been diligent about checking household fuel tanks for leaks. If you're in a building -- home, work, or wherever -- heated by some kind of fuel, go check the fuel tank. You don't have to be a technician to recognize an obvious leak.

Here in British Columbia, call the 24-hour Spill Line toll-free at 1-800-663-3456 to report when you see a spill of gasoline, oil, or any other kind of hazardous material. Anywhere in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, call the International Marine Oil Spill Reporting line toll-free at 1-800-OILS-911 to report when you see a spill of any kind of fuel on the water. If you live elsewhere, find out your area's way to report hazardous spills. Write these numbers down and keep them in your dunk bag so you will always have them in your kayaking gear.

And after you check your fuel tank for leaks, reward yourself by reading Gecko Paddler's post on Robyn and her rolls.

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