Mapping potential oil spills in the Salish Sea

If there were an oil spill in the Salish Sea*, where would the oil go?

That is the question the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Strait Alliance were seeking to answer as part of their Salish Sea Spill Map project. Over the past six months, the project has orchestrated the release of more than 1000 buoyant pieces of wood. The ‘drift cards’ were dropped into the ocean at locations that are at higher risk for oil tanker spills, including near the Second Narrows bridge, Point Grey, and the mouth of the Fraser River. The project works by crowdsourcing. The ‘drift cards’ are bright yellow and have text on them that directs whoever finds a card to a website where they can enter the card ID, location, time, and date where they found the card. You can view the interactive map of results at

*The ‘Salish Sea’ is the new name for an area that includes the Juan de Fuca and Georgia straits as well as Puget Sound.

oil spill map

How to get to Strathcona Safely by bike?

I live in the Dickens neighbourhood and recently had a contract that involved me working in an office on East Hastings street.

For three months I took Main Street North to Union by bike, despite it not really feeling safe at all. (But Main Street has ‘sharrows’, so that makes it safer, right?)

Rumour has it the the city of Vancouver is exploring the possibility of building a pedestrian and cycling bridge to overpass the train tracks that run along the False Creek flats. Sounds like a great idea to me!

I set up a Survey Monkey survey to find out how my cycling neighbours are currently getting to Strathcona, and to see if I could find a better way to get to work sans idealistic beautiful future bike bridge. I also included questions about how often respondents took their described route in an attempt to estimate how much traffic each route was getting.

Of the 39 respondents to my survey, 36 (92%) replied that they ride their bike to Strathcona at least once per month. Funnily enough though, when I mapped out all of the supplied starting and destination intersections from the survey responses, it became clear respondents either don’t know where ‘Strathcona’ is situated or more likely that I worded my survey in a confusing way. 15 of 39 respondents (38%) actually started or ended the bicycle trips that they supplied to the survey in Strathcona. These 15 trips shown in the map below. Line thickness is proportional to trip count. Click on a line for details.