Oil spills happen on a daily basis in Canada and around the world, leaving an undeniable footprint on our environment. They contaminate our water supply, significantly impact our health, and destroy helpless marine life and coastal wetlands unable to avoid their deadly pursuit.
In North America:
Each year, more than 300,000 seabirds are killed by oil off the south coast of Newfoundland alone, according to a recent study by Memorial University of Newfoundland.
In the Great Lakes, and in the near-shore waters of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, loons, grebes, and diving ducks such as Long-tailed Ducks, mergansers, and eiders are the most common victims of oil spills.
- In July 2007, a pipeline leaked in Burnaby B.C. spilling an estimated 234,000 litres of oil into the coastal waters including Burrard Inlet, and harming marine life in its path.
- In 2006, 29,000 litres of oil spilled into the Howe Sound near Squamish, B.C., and caused a huge impact on the marine environment, according to the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.
- In April 2005, mineral oil released into Lake Huron between MacGregor Point and Kincardine as a result of a fire prompted the Grey Bruce Health Unit to advise people to stay out of the contaminated water until it was deemed safe. The advisory cited that exposure to the oil could cause respiratory irritation, and potentially more serious effects if drawn into people’s lungs.