Marine biologist will warn Comox Valley about dangers of oil spills

Fefore the Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project public hearings in Comox, Dr. Riki Ott will speak.

One week before Round Two of the Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project public hearings in Comox, Dr. Riki Ott will be the featured speaker at a public meeting in Courtenay.

Ott, a marine biologist who has spent the past 23 years dealing firsthand with oil spills and their effect on the environment, will speak Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Native Sons Hall. The address is sponsored by the World Community Development Education Society.

A resident of Cordova, Alaska, Ott earned her PhD in 1985 from the University of Washington’s School of Fisheries with emphasis on effects of heavy metals on benthic invertebrates. She was a fisher in Alaska in 1989 at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill.

A trained marine toxicologist and former commercial fisher, she has written two books on oil spill impacts to ecosystems, people, and communities, and starred in Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez, an award-winning feature film.

In 2009, Ott co-founded Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute, and the national grassroots coalition

In May 2010, Ott brought her expertise to the Gulf of Mexico, volunteering for one year to expose a public health crisis of chemical illness and to help with local community organizing.

She is speaking in Courtenay on the dangers to human health, communities and the environment posed by pipelines and oil spills, one week before a scheduled two days of hearings at the Comox Recreation Centre on Aug. 10 and 11, starting at 9 a.m. each day.

The Polaris Institute reported in 2008 that Enbridge’s own data revealed 610 spills from Enbridge pipelines from 1999 to 2008. The July 2010 spill of diluted bitumen (the product that Enbridge wants to pipe from Alberta to Kitimat) in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan was, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “the largest inland oil spill in Midwest history”, of at least 840,000 gallons of oil.

On July 10, a press release issued by the Office of Public Affairs of the US National Transportation Safety Board states, “This investigation identified a complete breakdown of safety at Enbridge.

“Their employees performed like Keystone Kops and failed to recognize their pipeline had ruptured and continued to pump crude into the environment,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

The full report is not yet complete but a synopsis can be seen at

Under the theme Our Coast, Our Decision! No Pipeline, No Tankers! local environmental activists, artists, musicians, everyone is encouraged to use the time from Aug. 3 to 10/11 to creatively demonstrate their determination to protect the environment and defend the right of First Nations and all residents of B.C. to make the decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project.

For more information on Dr. Riki Ott, visit

For more information on the Joint Review Panel, see

For more information on the Courtenay/Comox events, phone 250-337-5412, e-mail and on Facebook see Our Coast, Our Decision — public meetings and events.

— World Community Development Education Society

Just Posted

The community at Highland Secondary in Comox has received a letter about a potential COVID exposure this month. File photo
Highland Secondary in Comox had potential COVID exposure

School community sent letter as precaution; COVID cases have been dropping in last month

The bottom of the CF-18 demonstration jet for 2021 showing the missing ninth Snowbird. Photo by Derek Heyes/Facebook
Aviation a family affair for CF-18 demo pilot

Capt. Daniel Deluce looking forward to being a part of Operation Inspiration

Comox Valley RCMP arrested a suspect in connection with a dumpster fire on the weekend. Black Press file photo
Comox Valley RCMP charge suspect with arson for weekend fire

Courtenay Fire Department has responded to multiple dumpster fires this year

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

A siren bank near Stotan Falls. Photo supplied
BC Hydro to test sirens along Puntledge River in Courtenay this week

Public safety is very important to BC Hydro, and it’s one of… Continue reading

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Most Read