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Oil spill BC

Wildlife rescue operations continue as Vancouver announces they have cleaned all oil that could be recovered

Digital writers

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 2:31 PM - While officials continue to work hard to clean the English Bay, local wildlife rescue association are doing some cleaning of their own.

More than 30 birds were found in nearby locations covered in oil. The Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. is one of many organization helping them out. They posted pictures of the three birds that are in their care. The buffleheads (one male and two female) were stabilized before receiving an oil-spill bath.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

With more than 2700 litres of oil spilled into the water, local wildlife has been left in a concerning state, according to the Vancouver Aquarium. During the clean-up process, The Marine Science Centre uncovered barnacles (marine crustaceans) covered in oil.

"This is concerning not just due to the impact on the barnacles, but because they along with other invertebrates are part of the food chain consumed by other wildlife," Vancouver Aquarium said in a Facebook post.

The City of Vancouver issued a statement saying that all oil that could be removed has been recovered. The remaining bunker fuel has sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Approximately 40 km of shoreline in the province have been tested for the presence of oil, but only 1.5 km were deemed clean by Sunday afternoon.

The cause of Vancouver's recent oil spill in the English Bay has been confirmed. According to Transport Canada, the oil came from the vessel M/V Marathassa, affirming earlier suspicions. A portion of the Stanley Park seawall is closed in an effort to clean up Vancouver's recent oil spill in the English Bay. Transport Canada's aerial survey conducted Friday showed some small patches remaining in the Bay after skimmers cleaned up the majority of oil.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robinson pulled no punches Friday during a press conference on the toxic spill that spread throughout Vancouver's English Bay, calling the response time to the incident 'inadequate' and the city's 'worst nightmare.' Clean-up efforts are underway following the spill that occurred Wednesday evening, sending an estimated 2,700 litres of toxic oil into the water.

“There were huge gaps and bungles at a leadership level that were totally inadequate,” Robertson said Friday. “It goes back to lack of leadership federally and provincially to make sure these efforts are coordinated.”

Robertson also asked questions around the following:
- Why it took six hours for booms to be put in place to clean up the oil?
- Why it took 12 hours for the city to be notified?
- Why, 42 hours later, do we not know exactly what the toxic substance is?

Oil from the spill reached Vancouver shores, in north Vancouver and Kitsilano.

Authorities are warning the public not the touch the substance, which can be seen floating on the water as a grimy sheen, with some washing ashore on Kit's Beach in Kitsilano in clumps.


Some Vancouver-area beaches have been closed off to the public following the spill.

Residents are being told to avoid areas on both sides of the bay and to keep pets leashed up and away from wet sand, which could contain oil.


Steve Keenan was paddling in the area Wednesday evening and returned to shore with residue on his boat.

He told the CBC he could smell the oil in the water.

“I needed WD-40… [it was the only thing that was getting it off]. I feels almost like chewing gum,” he told the news agency.


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