Spill response planning is constantly evolving, and in order for WCMRC to best serve the communities and coastal areas we protect, we commit to utilizing the best response tactics we can. Drones, advanced sweep systems, state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS), and underwater ROVS are all part of our tool kit and help in our mission to protect the beautiful coastal areas of B.C.
Added to our collection of spill response tools, the Coastal Response Program will soon be home to 28 new and noteworthy Coastal Response Packages (CRP).
Read on for more intel on these packages and the areas we hope to implement them.
Identifying Coastlines At Risk
Our new Coastal Response Packages are part of WCMRC’s strategy to prepare communities ahead of an oil spill. Our Geographical Response Strategies (GRS) are based on site-specific response plans that are built around sensitive areas on the coast. Once these areas are identified through our coastal mapping program, we work to implement a strategy to protect the area in the event of a spill.
In order to protect coastlines that are sensitive, we deploy curtain boom across the area to stop oil from reaching shore. By deploying boom ahead of the spill, we are able to protect the area completely or minimize the damage significantly.
Currently, we have 700 different strategies designed to protect the West Coast that involve tens of thousands of feet of boom, so we needed to create a program to house the boom closer to where it needs to be. Our strategically placed boom allows us to prepare ahead of a spill and will save time during the critical first few hours of an oil spill response.Packages to Protect Sensitive Areas
Once the areas of sensitivity are identified, WCMRC will work to install Coastal Response Packages directly into communities as well as train members of that community on how to deploy the equipment. Housed inside a 20ft sea can container, the strategically placed packages contain 1,700 feet of boom and 9 anchor kits to be used in an oil spill as well as boom lights.The equipment is placed locally so it can be deployed by local Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) in the event of an oil spill. The Coastal Response Packages are to be placed close to the water, on either land or float, so that they can be opened and accessed easily by a vessel. Local Vessels of Opportunity are trained to deploy the equipment inside the 20×8 ft containers and will help save crucial time in the initial minutes and hours after an oil spill.
Through our Coastal Response Program, WCMRC is in the process of mapping out the location for each of the 28 Coastal Response Packages along the South Coast with the help of First Nations and local, coastal communities. We are working with communities and landowners to find suitable locations for the Coastal Response Packages and once the packages are in place will help train local Vessels of Opportunity.
The 28 packages will be placed throughout Vancouver’s southern coastal areas and the Gulf Islands and will act as the primary defense for valued areas of sensitivity against harmful oil spills. Our first package has already been placed on Galiano Island and other possible locations include Saturna Island, Mayne Island, Sooke, Ucluelet, to name just a few. With your help, we will work tirelessly to protect the beautiful B.C. coastline. If you are interested in hosting a package in your community, or learning more about resources available through the Coastal Response Program reach out to us.