The Heiltsuk Nation on the central coast has released a report outlining its plans to strengthen oil spill prevention and clean-up in the region by establishing an Indigenous Marine Response Centre.
The report says the centre’s base operations, fleet and crew could be operational in about six months, if an initial investment of 11-million dollars is received.
The response centre, to be located in Heiltsuk territory, would be staffed by trained crew familiar with the local marine environment and use equipment expressly designed for central coast conditions — allowing it to respond to all spills or other incidents in five hours or less.
The First Nation says when the Nathan E. Stewart sank in its territory last year, fouling important clam beds, members found spill response was inadequate and decided to create a centre that would improve marine safety and safeguard the environment.
(The Canadian Press)