Sign-up to volunteer for English Bay oil spill clean-up

Dec 19 2017, 10:45 pm

With oil from yesterday’s spill washing up on downtown Vancouver’s shores, the City of Vancouver is now looking for citizens who are interested in helping with the clean-up in the days and weeks to come.

On Wednesday afternoon, an estimated 2,800 litres of toxic bunker fuel oil was released from a grain-carrying cargo tanker anchored in the middle of Burrard Inlet.

The Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation are using long booms to contain the oil floating on the surface of the water, and as of late this afternoon about 1,400 litres of oil have been retrieved.

Throughout the day, wind has been pushing oil and oily seaweed onto beach sand, rocks and the seawall around English Bay Beach, Sunset Beach and Stanley Park. Park Board crews have been working to clean-up the shoreline, but they are in need of help to expedite the process and reduce any further damage to marine life and the local environment.

To volunteer for the clean-up effort, you can register online here:

Note: Cleanup will be coordinated by the Federal Coast Guard officials and their contractors, a representative from the City will be in touch in order to best direct your efforts if additional help is needed.

Public warned to avoid downtown Vancouver beaches

If you come across oil-covered debris, do not touch it or put it in the garbage. Bunker fuel oil is carcinogenic and toxic.

If your skin makes contact with the debris, you are urged to wash thoroughly with clean water and soap.

The City of Vancouver is warning residents and their pets to stay out of the water and avoid the high tide line until further notice. An update will be provided tomorrow when an overnight assessment on the oil wash-up situation has been made.

The Vancouver Aquarium has offered its services in monitoring the effects of the oil spill on aquatic species in the area. It is preparing a rapid response team to ensure affected seabirds and marine mammals receive the urgent treatment they may require.

Park Board staff encountered four seabirds with oiled feathers near Second Beach, but they went back into the water before they could be treated.


The Marathassa, highlighted in red, is responsible for the oil spill.

Image: Vessel Finder

Image: Vessel Finder




DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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