Home / National News / Paddling in Protest: Seattle Kayakers Stand Up Against Arctic Drilling


(SEATTLE) — Thousands of boaters manned colorful kayaks and took to the water in Seattle’s Elliott Bay Saturday as part of a protest against Shell’s Arctic oil drilling.

The “Paddle in Seattle” — a daylong, family friendly festival in a West Seattle park and an on-the-water protest by “Shell No” kayaktivists — was held only blocks from where Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig is docked at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5.

“Shell’s Polar Pioneer, which is bound for the Arctic Ocean, landed in Seattle on Thursday,” Alli Harvey, representative for the Sierra Club Alaska’s Our Wild America Campaign, told ABC News. Harvey said the Sierra Club contributed to Saturday’s event by making the “People’s Platform” — a barge at the protest site powered by renewable energy.

“Seattle has made it clear that they don’t want the Polar Pioneer here, don’t want there to be drilling in the Arctic Ocean because of the impact it’s going to have on the climate,” Harvey said. “And we couldn’t agree more.

“We stand with these boaters,” she said, “Who are getting on the water today by the thousands … and saying … ‘We need to chart a new future for this country.'”

Shell did not immediately provide a comment to ABC News.

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