Protesters To Greet Shell’s Damaged Arctic Ice Breaker in Portland, OR

[ This floating protest will launch at 3 PM, Saturday, June 25 from the Swan Island Boat ramp, at the end of N Basin Ave.]

For interviews, contact Daphne Wysham: 202-510-3541 (cell), daphne.wysham@gmail.com

“Kayaktivists” and other protesters opposed to Shell Oil’s destructive Arctic drilling operations will mount a kayak flotilla protest in Portland, OR, Saturday, July 25, with the expected arrival of the Shell fleet’s damaged icebreaker, the Fennica, earlier in the day.

The “PDX vs. Shell” action will take place at the Swan Island boat ramp on the end of North Basin Ave. beginning at 3 p.m. July 25. The flotilla of kayaks and other boats will launch at  4 p.m.  This is a legal action and family-friendly event.  The protest is sponsored by Climate Action Coalition, 350 PDX and Portland Rising Tide.  

The Fennica is arriving in Portland from Alaska for repairs to a damaged hull. It is scheduled to return to the Arctic in a few days where it will act as the ice-breaking ship for Shell oil drilling rigs and its support fleet, allowing Shell to commence delayed drilling operations off the Alaska coast.  

Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are warming the Arctic faster than the rest of the globe, and the Arctic Ocean is rapidly becoming ice-free. The International Energy Agency warns that over two-thirds of all proven fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground by 2050 to avert catastrophic climate disruption. In January, the journal Nature reported that to maintain even a 50% chance of avoiding catastrophic global warming (beyond 2°C), there can be no drilling for Arctic oil. Nevertheless, Shell Oil is now exploring for oil in the Arctic with the permission of President Obama.  

In a  newly released study NASA’s former top climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, says that with a 2°C temperature increase sea levels could rise at least 10 feet as soon as the middle years of this century, inundating coastal cities and even reaching inland cities such as Portland.   With 10 feet of sea level rise, the dry dock where the Fennica is scheduled to be repaired would be underwater.  

This drilling also poses huge risks for local marine ecosystems  The Arctic is a vital breeding and feeding ground for marine life, and home to numerous indigenous peoples who rely on a healthy marine environment for their survival.  Offshore Arctic oil operations pose a 75 percent chance of a spill in the Arctic, the Department of the Interior calculates.  The best expert opinion is that a spill would be virtually impossible to clean up.

Professional photos, interviews and a livestream video of the various actions on July 25 will be available to the press upon request. Follow our Twitter feeds at #PDXvsShell, #Floodthesystem and #ShellNo.

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