When an oil spill happens, it’s usually not just one agency that responds. Oftentimes, it’s an entire spill response community that bands together to clean up the spill, protect the environment from any impacts, and begin working on recovery.
Having already gotten a slew of sunny days and with more out on the radar to come, boating season has officially arrived in Pacific Northwest towns such as Gig Harbor, Washington. For many, this is a welcome change from the dreary days that now feel well behind us. But more boats in Puget Sound can also have some yucky downsides. It can mean more sewage getting into our beloved waters.
This is a guest post by Lauren Drakopulos of Washington Sea Grant.
To paraphrase an old saying, “There’s no use crying over spilled oil.” But many people in Washington worry a lot about oil pollution in Puget Sound and other coastal waters around the state.
What many don’t realize is that the biggest source of oil spills to date in Puget Sound isn’t tankers and freighters but small recreational and commercial vessels. Small oil spills from these types of vessels account for 75 percent of the oil spilled in local waters over the last 10 years.
On June 2, 2016, an underwater survey team is looking at what they believe to be the wreck of the 324-foot-long Coast Trader, a U.S. Army-chartered freight ship sunk somewhere off the Washington coast during World War II. The shipwreck being surveyed is located near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca just across the border of Washington state and British Columbia in Canadian waters.