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Reflections on 2012: Happy New Year and thanks to our supporters, from everyone at WWF!

By this measure, 2012 has been an amazing, worthwhile year.  No issue has galvanized British Columbians concerned for the future of their coast like protecting the Great Bear region from the risks of a pipeline/tanker route.  From the hundreds of brave individuals who stood up to give voice to their values at the public hearings, to the scores of demonstrations, gatherings, and learning sessions in communities, to the countless ways people are using social media to put their voices out there, Canadians are rising to the challenge.  A few highlights stand out for me from this year.

A rally in Prince Rupert about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. © Mike Ambach, WWF-Canada.

You may have heard of the impromptu rendition of O Canada given by community members attending one of the National Energy Board Hearings in Smithers, BC, earlier this year.  A genuinely moving story.

Municipalities also stepped up to the plate in 2012.  At first the communities along the route – Masset, Queen Charlotte City, Port Clements, Terrace, Smithers, and Prince Rupert, but soon other communities passed their own motions, from Nelson to Victoria, Whistler to Fort Saint James, cities and towns alike have voiced their opposition to the various threats associated with moving heavy oil through BC’s waterways.

In my own town of Prince Rupert, local cooks and photographers worked together to create the Salmon Recipes.  More than a cookbook, this combination of recipes and stories from the coast is a testimony to the values that are mobilizing people to stand up for a sustainable and healthy ocean.

Short&Epic Production’s video “*This is not an Enbridge Animation” eloquently shows what is at stake in the region, and helped to drive the creation of a petition with 50,000 signatures asking Enbridge to recognize the +1000 square km of islands that were removed from the company’s depiction of the actual tanker route.

And the list goes on.  So despite the setbacks of 2012, I’m cautiously optimistic, encouraged by the growing groundswell of support for the future of the coast, and confident that 2013 will be a year of changing the tides for the better.

Happy New Year and thanks to our supporters, from everyone at WWF!