Greenpeace’s historic ship, the Arctic Sunrise, arrived in Seattle on June 15th. The Arctic Sunrise is docked in Lake Union Park and will be open to the public for free tours of the ship from 10 am to 6 pm on June 16, 17 and June 23 and 24.
“The Arctic Sunrise is in Seattle because of the threat to Pacific Northwest communities from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion,” said Greenpeace Pipelines Campaigner, Rachel Rye Butler. “The pipeline expansion would violate indigenous sovereignty and cause a sevenfold increase in tar sands tanker traffic down the West Coast, threatening extinction of the Southern Resident Orca Whale, and jeopardizing the thousands of tourism and fishing industry jobs that depend on clean coasts.”
The ship’s visit to the Pacific Northwest coincides with the release of an upcoming Greenpeace report on June 26th, examining the detrimental impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the resulting increase in tanker traffic. Among other events, Greenpeace will host a training for kayaktivists. On Tuesday morning, reporters will be invited to the ship to hear from the City of Seattle and environmental activists about the city's July 1 straw and utensil ban. Details to come on Monday.
The Arctic Sunrise will depart Seattle on June 25 and travel through the Salish Sea, following the route that could become a tar sands tanker super highway if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion moves forward despite large resistance.
Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise has a rich history. The Russian government seized the ship and the 30 peaceful activists on board in 2013 when Greenpeace protested Arctic oil drilling by the Russian company Gazprom. The Arctic Sunrise was also the first ship to circumnavigate James Ross Island in the Antarctic. It has worked to stop Japanese whaling fleets’ attempts to pursue their so-called scientific whaling program, chased private vessels fishing illegally, navigated both the Congo and the Amazon, and performed independent assessment of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. More recently the Arctic Sunrise spent January and February doing research in Antarctica to build the case for establishing the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.