There are fewer than 250 blue whales off Canada's East Coast. Hunting was once responsible for their decline but now oil and gas operations threaten to destroy its vital habitat - the Gulf of St Lawrence.
Oil and gas exploration at sites like the Old Harry Prospect off Newfoundland's west coast could put the blue whale's recovery in jeopardy. Increased ship traffic, seismic testing and spillages in the Gulf all have the potential to harm individual whales or endanger their food stocks.
Our federal government has promised to identify the blue whale's critical habitat by the end of this year and protect it under the Species at Risk Act. We fear this deadline will be missed or overlooked, in which case oil and gas operations could go forward without adequate consideration of the blue whale and its teetering recovery.
The blue whale and endangered species like it need a voice as the future of the Gulf is decided. To this end, we are launching the Blue Whale Campaign, which will bring public awareness to this struggling species. In this way we hope to rally support for the blue whale and simultaneously oppose oil and gas exploration in the Gulf.
With your support the campaign will begin late this summer and continue as the clock ticks on the deadline to identify the blue whale's critical habitat in late December. We have two Atlantic organizers, Zack Metcalfe and Colin Jeffrey, who have already dedicated weeks of preparation to the campaign - now we just need your help.
We've set a fundraising goal of $10,000 for our campaign and would appreciate your contributions. For more information or to donate, please visit the Blue Whale Campaign's fundraising site - donate, share, or become a fundraiser for the campaign yourself!
You can also donate to the campaign here:
June 10, 2014
Gulf 101 - Oil in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Facts, Myths, and Future Outlook is the first comprehensive look at the ecology, oceanography, economy, and implications of oil and gas for the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Four years in the making, the report details the uniqueness of the Gulf ecosystem, gaps in our current knowledge about the Gulf, flaws in the regulations and legal agreements regarding oil deposits in the Gulf, our inability to respond to and clean up an oil spill in the Gulf, and lack of social license for oil and gas in the Gulf.
The report was accompanied by a region-wide call for a moratorium on oil and gas in the Gulf, which received massive media attention.
Please go here to TAKE ACTION and protect the Gulf!
November 11, 2013
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a vital Canadian ecosystem. Unfortunately the fate of the Gulf, which is bounded by five of Canada’s ten provinces, now lies with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, which could approve drilling as soon as next year.
Oil and gas threatens marine life in the Gulf – endangered species like the blue whale and leatherback turtles – as well as thousands of other species! The vibrant Gulf ecosystem also supports tens of thousands of jobs in the fishing and tourism industries.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board is still considering approving drilling in spite of strong opposition from indigenous communities and citizens whose livelihoods and quality of life rely on a healthy, oil-free gulf.To make the case for how special the Gulf is, we are collecting stories and videos of people who have experience the Gulf and want to see it protected!
Please go here to check out our project website and submit your video or story:
Don’t know what to say ? Here are some questions that might get your creative juices flowing: Why do I love the Gulf of St. Lawrence? What is my favourite place in the Gulf? What is my favourite memory? What is my biggest fear if oil and gas is allowed to go ahead?
Contact Gretchen at 902-444-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more info or need help submitting your story or video!
We are so grateful for the support of the Patagonia Environmental Grants Program for helping us create the Gulf Garland!
We want your concerns about the Gulf of St. Lawrecce to be heard in the PEI legislature!
This January, the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition on Prince Edward Island launched a petition to support a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
We want as many signatures as possible!
Only "hard copy" signatures (i.e. not online petitions) are accepted, so please take some time to download the petition, gather signatures from your friends and neighbours. Maybe leave a copy at your local library or convenience store ....
Once you have gathered your signatures, please mail your petiton before April 2nd to:
Save Our Seas and Shores-PEI Chapter, VRC, 81 Prince St., Charlottetown, PE C1A 4R3.
Once we have gathered all the signatures, the petition and your concerns will be formally entered into the PEI legislature!
Want to give folks more information or spread the word further while gathering signatures? Please download the brochure below and print it!
Jason Priestley Speaks Out for the Gulf!
For immediate release: August 16, 2011
Halifax, NS – Yesterday’s letter from Environment Minister Peter Kent to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) shows lack of leadership to protect an ecosystem shared by half of Canada’s ten provinces according to Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter and the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition.
“At least the offshore board knew they were out of their depth when it came to measuring the impacts of oil and gas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” stated Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, “They asked for the federal government to take the lead. What they got in response from the Minister and his department was the equivalent of a regulatory game of hot potato. We cannot play games when so much is at stake.”... Read more »
In June, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board cried “uncle” and asked for the federal Environment Minister to conduct an environmental assessment of the impacts of exploratory drilling at a site called Old Harry located tens of kilometres from the coast of Newfoundland, Cape Breton, PEI and the Magdelen Islands.
Without this intervention, exploratory drilling could have proceeded as soon as next year.
In its letter to federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, the C-NLOPB stated that they had never received as many letters of concern about an offshore oil project before: for all those who wrote in - it worked! Now we just have to keep it up!
We need your help to convince federal Environment Minister Peter Kent to establish a valid environmental assessment to truly determine the risks of offshore oil development to the Gulf. A spill one tenth of the size of the BP oil spill would affect the coastlines of all five provinces around the Gulf.
What do we want you to do?
Speak Up for the Gulf!
Call Environment Minister Kent and ask for a full joint review panel environmental assessment for oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Tell him and his staff that you don’t think we can risk this precious ecosystem and that we need everyone around the Gulf engaged in protecting it.
Honourable Peter Kent's telephone number: 1-819-997-1441
You can also write a letter or email.
Here is a sample letter:
The Honourable Peter Kent
Minister of the Environment
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington Street, 28th Floor
New Glasgow, NS- Plans to slash the budget of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency budget to a paltry $17 million alarmed a coalition of community, fisheries, and Aboriginal groups engaged in protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence from oil and gas.
"These cuts are not only bad news for environmental protection in this country but also reflect an erosion of our democratic rights in Canada," says Mary Gorman of Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition.
... Read more »
Halifax, NS - Sierra Club Canada applauds a recent request by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) for federal environmental assessment of oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
... Read more »
Response to Our Letter to Atlantic Canada's Leaders, Asking for Halt to C-NLOPB's Review of Old Harry
NL Natural Resources Minister Commits to Create Stand Alone-Regulator for Safety - But what About the Environment?"
Response to our March 28th Letter, which states Sierra Club Atlantic, Ecology Action Centre, and Save Our Seas and Shore Coaliton:
"do not recognize the authority of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to assess and approve oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is too precious to be placed at risk by oil and gas development. It is a unique, semi-enclosed ecosystem, home to thousands of species, including endangered fish, marine mammals, and migratory birds. Bounded by five provinces, the Gulf supports massive income from fishing and tourism industries. Damage caused by a catastrophic spill in the region would impact all provinces around the Gulf. Cumulative impacts from habitat disruption, smaller spills, release of produced water, and drilling muds in addition to increased shipping traffic and potential pipelines will impact the entire region, not just NL waters. "
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Department of Natural Resources
Office of the Minister
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL
Canada A1B 4J6
Ms. Gretchen Fitzgerald
Sierra Club Canada- Atlantic Chapter
1657 Barrington St., Suite 533
Halifax, NS B3J 2A1
Dear Ms. Fitzgerald:
May 20, 2011
Re: Corridor Resources Inc. Exploration Well at the Old Harry Prospect
... Read more »