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

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