Oil Spills in Your Backyard & Opportunities for Citizen Engagement (June 6)

oil film in Stanley Park

Second Beach in Stanley Park (oily film present in aftermath of fuel spill)

An all day event entitled ‘Oil Spills in Your Backyard & Opportunities for Citizen Engagement’ is planned for Saturday, June 6th, 2015, 9 am to 4:30pm. Dr. Rikki Ott will lead the workshop at St. James Hall in Kitsilano (3214 West 10th Avenue). Dr. Ott was one of the speakers an event at SFU on April 29, 2015 that illustrated how Vancouver is unprepared for a major oil spill. and she is a member of The Alert Project.

The workshop is free; however, donations are requested to cover the costs. Tickets to the workshop are available here. For reference, we’ve reproduced the description of the workshop below:

Oil tanker preparing to dock at Kinder Morgan terminal

Oil tanker preparing to dock at the Kinder Morgan terminal

On April 8th, 2015 the grain freighter Marathassa spilled at least 2,700 litres of Bunker C fuel oil into English Bay, oiling the surrounding waters and prompting the closure of fisheries and beaches. The slow and inept response to the spill revealed that the different levels of government lacked adequate oil spill response plans and resources. With 70 huge tankers a year full of bitumen already travelling through Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea each year, and industry and government pushing to expand those numbers by the hundreds, the English Bay spill was an alarming wake up call to the community.

Join us for a full day community training by Exxon Valdez survivor and internationally renowned oil spill expert and author, Dr. Rikki Ott. Dr.Ott will share her knowledge on the impacts of oil spills, debunk the English Bay oil spill response, and share stories from the frontlines of the Exxon Valdez, Kalamazoo, and BP Gulf Mexico spills.

This interactive workshop will inform community members of the health risks of exposure to oil spills and response activities, engage participants in an oil spill scenario to think about ways to minimize harm to workers, the public, and the environment, and discuss ways for people to become safely involved in oil spill response and effectively involved in oil spill contingency planning.

Who: People who want to learn more oil spill impacts and response, and are interested in working together as a community going forward to improve oil spill planning in the Salish Sea

Cost: Free/By Donation. Dr. Riki Ott has generously donated her time and expertise to this event, and the organizers request your generosity in return to help her travel cover costs and commitment for the full 7.5-hour training – if you are able to donate, please do.

Registration: Spots are limited, so please register now! Attendance for the full day is required. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. We will also be able to direct you to nearby spots to buy your lunch on the day if you prefer.

About the Facilitator: Dr.Riki Ott witnessed first-hand the ecological destruction and social chaos from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A trained marine toxicologist and former commercial fisher woman, she has written two books on oil spill impacts to ecosystems, people, and communities and starred in Black Wave, an award-winning feature film. In May 2010, Ott brought her expertise to the Gulf of Mexico, volunteering for one year to expose a public health crisis of chemical illness and to help with local community organizing. For her work in the Gulf, Huffington Post named Ott a 2010 Game Changer. She lectures nationally and internationally, and works with communities on the front lines of oil spills and environmental disasters. For more information: http://www.rikiott.com

Access and accessibility: St. James Community Square is easily accessed by the Broadway bus system (one block off Broadway.) There is limited parking available at the back of the building and additional parking at the west end of the building, off the lane. For step-free access to the hall, there is a wheel chair lift accessed via a ramp off of Trutch Street near the corner of 10th Avenue.

Co-sponsored by: ALERT Project, Georgia Strait Alliance, Living Oceans Society & North Shore NOPE

This event will be held on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqeuam and Tsleil-Waututh People.

Oil Spill cleanupSecond Beach spill

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