Bay of Fundy oil spill could threaten east coast bird populations: naturalist
Those in favour of the project, which would see more than a million barrels of Alberta oil piped to Saint John each day, cite it’s economic benefits.
But worry over the potential for oil spills remains a major issue for environmentalists.
Well known New Brunswick naturalist Jim Wilson says in the spring alone, hundreds of thousands of sea birds migrating to the Arctic do so by way of the Bay of Fundy.
“If there were an oil spill at that time of year it could literally wipe out a high proportion of the east coast populations of certainly loons, many sea ducks and a lot of other birds,” Wilson said.
Both Nature NB and Nature Canada will be among the first to appear before the NEB, echoing concerns about birds and oil spills as well as increased tanker traffic and noise.
“The Bay of Fundy is sort of interesting place that, the conditions are very rugged and the weather changes really easily,” said Vanessa Roy-McDougall, executive director of Nature NB.
Citizens representing local groups like the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association will also appear this week hoping to get answers on issues important to them. Spokesperson Lynaya Astephen isn’t convinced the hearing process will work.
“When I’m asking questions to Trans Canada [Corp.], they don’t have to give me an answer right away,” Astephen said. “They can go back and work on their answer and form a written answer.”
The Energy East public hearings begin Monday morning.
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