The country’s largest proposed coal export terminal met it’s end after a long, drawn out fight. The result brought a major victory for Surfrider and all those who made up the coalition opposing it. Surfrider was an active opponent from the start as the information slowly came together on the breadth and threat this proposal posed to the health of local waters and the world class recreation the Bellingham area provides.
In the fall of 2010, SSA Marine estimated building the GPT would cost about $400 million and construction would start as early as the end of 2012 and could be completed by 2017. After more than three years since the EIS scoping, five and a half years since it became clear SSA Marine wanted to primarily export coal, and over two decades since the original export proposal was submitted, the project finally died.
It truly was a grassroots effort, but in the end, the Lummi Nation had the intuition to be the voice of reason and point out what should have been acknowledged right from the start. Xwe’chi’eXen, also known as Cherry Point has been a sacred part of the Lummi Nation’s culture for centuries. May 9, 2016 was a landmark decision for treaty wins and more when the US Army Corps of Engineers issued the decision to deny federal permits for SSA Marine’s GPT at Cherry Point. We are all grateful to the Lummi Nation for their leadership in protecting Northwest communities from the environmental and cultural damage GPT was sure to bring.