The organization tasked with cleaning up oil spills around Vancouver Island, the Strait of Georgia and Metro Vancouver’s coastline has signed a deal with the Sc’ianew First Nation to build a response base in its East Sooke territory.
Western Canada Marine Response, which has undertaken a $150 million spill-response program to establish a network of response bases and procure as many as 48 new vessels in preparation for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, will establish a marine base at Cheanuh Marina and a warehouse nearby.
Construction of the new docks at the marina is expected to start in late October with a goal of completion by the summer. Construction of the office and warehouse building will begin in July.
The base will house 20 full-time response personnel and will be fully operational by fall 2022.
“As stewards of the sea, we have an obligation to protect the ocean for our future generations. The response base will allow us to enhance that protection,” said Chief Russ Chipps of the Sc’ianew First Nation.
“If we aren’t ready to protect the environment, who is?”
Western Canada Marine Response will eventually establish 120 personnel at six new response bases as a result of the Trans Mountain spill response enhancement program.
The program includes establishing or improving bases at Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Sidney, Beecher Bay and the Lower Mainland to deal with potential oil spills as a result of increased tanker traffic.