A PREPARED OIL SPILL RESPONSE
Oil spills are a devastating occurrence: they wreak havoc on the environment, wildlife, and local livelihoods. In the event of a regional oil spill, local responders may be overwhelmed by the response and recovery efforts necessary to restore the health of local waters. With Vessels of Opportunity, you may be able to help.
THE VESSELS OF OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
Administered by the Washington State Department of Ecology, this program helps supplement professional responders when additional resources are required for addressing an oil spill. Should a spill occur in the Salish Sea, vessels and skippers with knowledge of our local waters will be essential to providing a swift and effective response. The Swinomish Tribal fishing fleet is well-placed to participate in the Vessels of Opportunity program by: assisting in oil skimming operations; transporting and deploying containment boom devices; providing logistical support by moving people and supplies; serving as a vessel communication or command post; and by assisting with wildlife rescue missions. Assignment of these duties depends on your vessel type, experience level, and the specific requirements of the spill response.
AM I ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?
There are several factors to consider that may affect your eligibility and capacity to participate in the program. Though all vessel types are welcome to volunteer, actual needs are dictated by the response environment. Your vessel’s U.S. Coast Guard certificate may limit the activities you are able to perform. Any vessel registered in Washington must be home-ported in the region, as the home port will determine the region of your vessel’s assignment. Registration is an ongoing effort, and your information will need to be updated annually. If you are called upon to respond to an oil spill, there is a chance your vessel could operate in oil. Though provisions will be made for cleaning, this is a possibility you should consider.
WILL I BE COMPENSATED?
You will receive paid compensation for your participation in organized drills and/or emergency response services. This compensation depends your on vessel size, crew numbers, level of training, and services rendered, among other factors.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Vessel owners who would like to participate in the program must submit a completed Vessels of Opportunity registration form to Kevin Anderson; paper copies are available in the Department of Environmental Protection office. Once registered, you will need to complete a vessel information survey. Depending on regional needs and your vessel type, you will be registered in one of two tiers.
|In Tier 1, you are ready to be contacted prior to an emergency situation. You will receive specific training and participate in drill exercises prior to an emergency response. You will be assigned specific tasks during an emergency response.
|In Tier 2, you will be contacted in the event of an oil spill that requires additional response services. You will receive specific training at the time response efforts are required.
TRIBAL SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO YOU
Though no additional training is required during the registration process, the Tribe offers supplemental hazwoper training and oil spill response training. These courses may prioritize your vessel for selection in the program, and are offered free of charge.