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Ecojustice Canada Society

Protecting Marine Habitat and Orcas in the Salish Sea

In June 2016, Ecojustice launched a legal challenge of the National Energy Board’s (NEB) report and recommendation to approve Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion. As participants in the two year review, we filed uncontroverted evidence of harm to at-risk southern resident killer whales. For one, Kinder Morgan concedes it cannot mitigate noise impacts on the whales from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic, as is required under SARA. Also, Raincoast (our client) filed a study showing that if the project is approved, there is a greater than 50 percent probability that the whale population will drop below 30 in the next 100 years, tantamount to extinction. We aim to set a clear precedent that regulators cannot avoid their legal responsibility to protect endangered species. T2 will add a second container terminal in deep-water by Delta—directly within southern resident killer whale critical habitat. By 2030, the expansion will increase container ship transits through Vancouver’s port and shipping channels by 500 vessels per year. Ecojustice is representing four clients as participants in the environmental assessment for T2. A review panel was recently appointed to conduct a hearing and submit a report and recommendation to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, likely by the end of 2017. We will work with our clients and their experts to submit evidence on how increases to vessel traffic will affect southern resident killer whales and other marine species.

Tides Canada Initiatives

Campaign Accelerator

Campaign Accelerator (“CA”) seeks to change how people act in the political arena to ensure their environmental values are a key part of the debate. CA’s theory of change is that if organizations visibly mobilize pro-environment voters on election day, then government and opposition will be more inclined to strengthen environmental protection because they believe those voters can be decisive in elections. As parties see how their stance on various environmental issues helped or hurt them in the election in key parts of the Province, government will become more positively responsive to those issues and see the value of a strong environmental track record, resulting in better laws and policies. Engagement organizing (“EO”) is based on the belief that “organized people beats organized money.” BC’s tanker campaign is a prime example, particularly the work of Dogwood Initiative to mobilize thousands through locally-grounded organizing nodes across the Province. The 2013 BC election saw all parties wanting to “look strong” on tankers in response to this force. CA flips this approach on its head: training and mentoring grassroots leaders so they can apply EO tools on local environmental issues. CA is building a network of community leaders using EO to enable local citizens to hold their elected officials to account and ensure government recognizes that environmental values (beyond big campaigns like tankers) are widespread and can move voters. The 2017 election is a first test.

Wildsight Living Lakes Canada

Citizen Science Series

Outcomes will help influence systemic change through: 1. Normalizing active water stewardship with robust, scientifically defensible monitoring protocols that have been adjusted to be accessible and user friendly for citizen scientists. 2. Strengthened community understanding and engagement on the inter-relationship between land use, climate change and watershed health and that this stewardship is a collective responsibility. 3. Inform existing and newly emerging watershed and land use management policies, practices and pluralistic frameworks at the municipal, regional or sub-basin level. Our Citizen Science Series is an important initiative to engage, train and empower citizens and community groups to collect water data for policy implementation within their communities in lakes, rivers, wetlands, aquifers and glacial environments. We use provincial and federal protocols such as the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network in rivers and will be testing the adaptation of the protocol in partnership with Environment Canada to assess wetland health. We use Provincial Ambient Water Monitoring and Groundwater Protocols, and will be testing citizen science protocols for blue-green algae and glacial monitoring, which has not been done before in BC. We will work with the Adaptation to Climate Team - SFU and our science advisory board to implement and test the ability to asses climate change impacts within each of the monitoring protocols we use.