It was approximately one month ago when we covered the news of “environmental activists” in kayaks who were planning to try to stop Shell’s massive Polar Pioneer. The rig is destined for the Arctic and it was finally ready to get underway this week following some permitting issues with the city. The Kayakers were still there, along with a large show barge which they moved into the area for PR purposes, and they managed to slow down the rig – according to the local news report below – for as much as “a few minutes.”
But the Pioneer got underway, and as you would expect when some big old oil rig visits, there was a nasty environmental mess left behind which had to be cleaned up. Except it wasn’t from Shell’s rig, which had no oil to spill even if they’d had a mind to. The mess was caused by the protesters, who littered a popular nature reserve dive site, tore up some of the natural habitat and created a hazard for both divers and sea creatures. (From local NBC outlet King 5)
Near the kayak line, divers cleaned up a site damaged by the activists’ barge. Used for staging their protests, the barge anchors were originally dropped into a popular dive spot. They dropped 4,000-pound anchors into a habitat known for several different kinds of marine species.
“A lot of people come here to see Giant Pacific Octupus,” said Koos Dupreez.
Dupreez works with Global Underwater Explorers. They coordinated the clean-up, asking the activists to cut their lines so as to avoid any further damage. Divers removed huge cement blocks and chords, worried for the safety of people and animals
It cost $10,000 and created some wake among environmental groups.
“Having someone else who is concerned about the environment trash the environment, some people were upset, understandably so,” Dupreez said.
The diving group was sad over the damage caused to the marine environment, but at the same time, they had the opportunity to assist in the massive cleanup effort. When it was done, they put out a release announcing the success of their work. (From Global Underwater Explorers, Seattle)
On Monday, May 19th, 2015, an environmental activist group moored a barge known as the Solar Pioneer in Alki Seacrest Park in protest of Shell’s Polar Pioneer arctic drilling rig housed at Seattle’s Harbor Island Terminal 5. In the process of mooring, the activist group dropped concrete blocks and thick steel mooring cables and inadvertently damaged a popular underwater park known as Alki Cove 2. As the barge rose and fell with the tides, the steel mooring cables swept the area underneath causing additional collateral damage to the marine environment as well as endangering recreational divers. Today, the Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) Seattle cleanup project was successfully completed and all concrete blocks and the steel mooring cables were recovered and properly disposed of.
Well done, environmentalists! You must have really driven your point home by trashing the harbor while the Polar Pioneer headed out without leaving a mess. By the way… has anyone checked the underside of the rig to make sure there’s no brightly colored kayaks stuck to it? That would be awful. But back to the protesters… I’m sure you’ll all be passing the hat and paying the $10K that it cost to clean things up, right? Right?
(Insert cricket noises here.)