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Declaration

WESTCOAST WATER AND OIL DO NOT MIX
115  conservation, labour, and First Nations groups pledge their support to maintain the moratorium on offshore oil and gas development.

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THE BIODIVERSITY IN OUR MARINE WATERS IS SPECTACULAR. The Pacific Ocean within the 200-mile limit of British Columbia and Canada is rich in marine life with several hundred species of fish, thousands of species of invertebrates, 29 species of marine mammals, and a myriad of seabirds. These waters are home to the largest species of octopus, fastest growing plant, and greatest number of sea stars in the world. The ocean has provided sustenance for First Nations for centuries and plays an integral role in native culture. Presently the ocean is of great economic and cultural importance for all coastal communities.

WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSERVE THE HEALTH OF OUR OCEAN AND OUR COASTAL COMMUNITIES. Unlike many places around the world that live in fear of an oil spill, we can greatly reduce this threat by maintaining the moratorium on offshore oil and gas development. This moratorium, in place for over 25 years, has prohibited oil and gas development on Canada’s Pacific coast and ensures that oil tankers do not travel through our inside waters.

OIL SPILLS THREATEN MARINE LIFE: Seabirds, fish, shellfish, and eggs and larvae of all marine species are extremely vulnerable to oil spills and, despite advances in technology, in 1997 there were 351 spills worldwide from oil tankers and exploratory drilling. A blowout during exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the worlds largest oil spill, gushing crude oil into the ocean for 9 months before it could be contained. 10 years after the Exxon Valdez dumped 10 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound the herring stocks have not recuperated and intertidal areas remain impacted by oil.

OIL SPILLS THREATEN COASTAL COMMUNITIES: The work and sacrifice that fishermen have contributed to help rebuild our fish stocks could be wiped out by one large oil spill, causing even further economic turmoil in our coastal economy. Tourism, one of the fastest growing industries in coastal BC would be devastated by an oil spill. Our coastal communities could be further shattered by an increase in divorce and suicide rates similar to what occurred in communities affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTES TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Expanding the oil and gas industry, instead of investing in alternate energy sources, will perpetuate the dependence on fossil fuels for energy. Burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas produces carbon dioxide, one of the greatest contributors to climate change. This contravenes the commitments Canada made at the international Climate Change Convention in Kyoto Japan in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will result in reduced fish stocks, increased rainfall in Coastal BC, drought in the Interior of BC, and increased forest fires.

OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT PROVIDE MANY JOBS TO THE NORTH COAST: Exploring and drilling for oil requires highly specialized and technical workers. Therefore few, if any, opportunities will available to unemployed loggers and fishermen and minimal benefits will be gained by coastal communities.

THEREFORE THE UNDERSIGNED URGE THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS TO MAINTAIN THE MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT:

Adaptive Computer Services,
Alaska Centre for the Environment
Alaska Wilderness League
Alberni Environmental Coalition
Alberni Social Justice Group
Beecher Bay First Nations
Better Environmentally Sound Transportation
Beyond Expectations Communication & Design Solutions
Bluewater Adventures Ltd
British Columiba Sustainable Energy Association
British Columbia Wetlands Society
Broughton Archipelago Stewardship Project
Busan Education Training Institute
Canadian EarthCare Society
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Check Your Head
Citizens' Council on Corporate Issues
Clearwater Biodiversity Project
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Comox Indian Band
Cook Inlet Keeper
David Suzuki Foundation
Delkatla Sanctuary Society
Eastern Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club
Ecology Action Centre
Ecosummer Expeditions
Environmental Club Hammond HS
Environmental Commision of the Anglican Diocese of BC
Environmental Mining Council of BC
Environmental Youth Alliance
First Nations Environmental Network
Forest Action Network
FORPA Forest Protection Allies
Friends of Boundary Bay
Friends of Clayoquot Sound
Friends of Cortes Island
Friends of Renewable Energy
Friends of the Tlell
Georgia Strait Alliance
Green Party of BC
Greengrass Institute
Greenpeace Canada
GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition
Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association
Haida Gwaii Marine Resources Group Association
International Fund for Animal Welfare - Canada
International Network of Forests and Communities
International Year of the Tiger
Intervention Coalition on Sable Gas Project
Letters for Animals
Living Oceans Society
Malcolm Island Environmental Protection Society
Mayne Island Naturalists
Mississippi 2020 Network Inc.
MV "Orca Song"
Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council
Nelson EcoCentre of British Columbia
North Coast Cetacean Society
North Graham Island Streamkeepers Society
Northwest Environmental Advocates
Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society
Oceana
Oceans Blue Foundation
Oceans Conservancy Alaska
Oilfree Technologies Inc.
Oilwatch Europe
Oilwatch Mesoamerica
Out of the Clamshell
Pacific Biodiversity Institute
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Pacific Orca Society, ORCALAB
Pacific Wild
Pembina Institute
Peoples Action for Threatened HabitatPrince Rupert Environmental Society
Puget Sound Gillnetters Assoc.
Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers
Raincoast Conservation Society
Raincoast Research Society
Rainforest Relief
Reach for Unbleached
Rivershed Society of BC
Save Our Mother Ocean
Seasmoke/ Sea Orca Whale Watching
Sierra Club (US), National Marine Wildlife and Habitat Committee
Sierra Club of BC
Sierra Club of Canada
Sierra Club, Haida Gwaii Chapter
Sierra Club, South Carolina
Sierra Legal Defence Fund
Society for Conservation Biology, UVIC Chapter
Society Promoting Environmental Conservation
Songbird Project
Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE)
Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA)
Surfrider Canada Foundation
Surfrider, California
Surfrider Foundation USA
Sustainable Communities Consultancy
T Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
The Campaigns Group of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (United World Colleges)
The Edmonds Institute
The Marine Connection
TREES-Temperate Rainforest Environmental Education Society
Tropico Verde
United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union
Valhalla Wilderness Society
Voice For All Animals
Watershed Sentinel
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
WaveLength Paddling Magazine
West Coast Environmental Law
Western Canada Wilderness Committee
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)
Yukon Conservation Society

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