Dear Audubon in Washington,
Two years ago this month we submitted detailed comments on behalf of Audubon Washington and the 25 chapters in our state concerning the proposed Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal at the Port of Vancouver. Based on our review of the proposed project, we concluded that the environmental risks and likely impacts posed by the project may result in unavoidable and significant impacts to birds and other wildlife, including priority aggregations of seabirds and other waterbirds, ESA listed species, and the food and habitat resources they depend upon. Many of you also dedicated additional time to submitting your own comments.
Sometimes success is a long time coming, which is why I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the decision by the Port of Vancouver’s Board of Commissioners to terminate a rolling lease on the property that would house the proposed oil terminal. The termination is contingent on Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies providing the necessary permits and approvals by March - the likelihood of which is considered slim.
There’s a lot at stake here which is why your continued advocacy in support of birds is so important. The Columbia River Estuary supports large numbers of shorebirds during migration, and some of the largest colonies of Caspian Terns and Double-Crested Cormorants in the world nest and roost on islands within the Estuary. The western portion of the Estuary is designated as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site and there are nine Important Bird Areas within the vessel corridor. Avian species lists for the Estuary top 300 species. On the terrestrial side, the rail transport corridor overlaps with five Important Bird Areas in Washington.
As always, thank you for your dedication, hard work and support!
Trina Bayard, Ph.D.
Director of Bird Conservation
5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118