Letter: Worries about ships’ impact on environment

Editor,

This is a follow up to my first letter to the editor to you voicing my concerns regarding multiple container vessels being moored in Holmes Harbor.

My main concern is that some “accident” may occur that will contaminate the beaches of South Whidbey and adversely affect wildlife.

A case in point is the environmental disaster currently ongoing off the west coast of Sri Lanka, where a container vessel caught fire and has now sunk, this vessel was carrying chemicals including nitric acid.

The beaches are now contaminated and it is being called the worst environmental disaster in decades. It is affecting the beaches, the ocean, wildlife and fishing grounds.

How long will it be until something similar happens here? We have no way of knowing what cargo these vessels are carrying and in fact most are not U.S.-flagged ships and some are not even waiting to offload at U.S. ports.

Two of the ships in Holmes Harbor now are waiting to offload in Vancouver, B.C.

I have already complained to many entities and have finally reached the person who is in charge of directing these ships to moorage, so if you wish to join me in making your concerns/complaints known, please contact Laird Hale, director, Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, who can be reached through P.O. Michael Clark, U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs at uscgd13@gmail.com

Jane Preston

Langley

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