The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2009 Sep 21

Retired surgeon adds voice
to opposing LNG projects


CAMPOBELLO – After hearing a presentation at an LNG meeting extolling the beauty and biodiversity of the Passamaquoddy region, retired U.S. assistant surgeon general Brian Flynn and his wife decided to buy a home on Campobello.

Since then he has become a knowledgeable champion for the area, sending many submissions to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in opposition to liquefied natural gas projects in Passamaquoddy Bay and using his camera to let everyone know just how special this place is.

His latest presentation documents the wildlife seen in Head Harbour Passage this summer that will be affected by the passage of LNG tankers, tugs and security vessels.

He has included photographs of whales, birds, seals and harbour porpoise he has taken inside Head Harbour Passage within two miles of Head Harbour lighthouse.

In his latest missive, Flynn emphasizes the adverse impact the proposed Downeast LNG import facility in Passamaquoddy Bay will have on wildlife and human activity.

“Specifically, I would like to comment on the unacceptable risk to whales and the disruption of other commercial and recreational use of the waterways involved, especially Head Harbour Passage,” he said. “Perhaps photographs make the case most powerfully. The transit of LNG ships through Head Harbour Passage presents an unacceptable risk to the well-being of several whale species (fin, humpback, minke and right). I know of no way to mitigate this risk.”

Flynn said whales are constantly in Head Harbour Passage and transit this passage 24 hours a day throughout the tide cycle. They sometimes travel in pairs or in threes, appear without warning, change direction in often unpredictable fashion as they follow food and typically do not alter course to avoid boat traffic, he said.

He notes the presence of many boats, both commercial and recreational, in Head Harbour Passage to watch the whales. In one instance, he said, a humpback approached his boat to within six feet when it was stopped in the water.

Wildlife, especially whales, would be put in serious jeopardy by the transit of LNG tankers, accompanying large tug boats and high-speed security vessels, Flynn said.

“In addition, the area is a commercial ecotourism and recreational area that would be seriously disrupted and compromised by LNG traffic, its dangers and its accompanying security requirements,” he said.

“Industrial LNG development of this special area risks irreparable damage to life in and surrounding these waters.”


© 2009 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB