More than a dozen protesters in kayaks intercepted Shell’s Polar Pioneer rig Thursday afternoon as it docked at the Port of Seattle.
According to USA Today, the protesters moved into Elliott Bay holding signs reading “sHellNo.org Arctic Drilling = Climate Chaos” as the 400 foot long rig prepared to dock at Terminal 5.
Another dozen protesters joined in from the shore holding signs that read “Chief Seattle Is Watching” and “W. Seattle Says sHello No! Arctic Drilling.”
The demonstration was only the first in a series of events to protest the company’s presence in Seattle that will include another kayak demonstration this Saturday.
The protest comes weeks after another group of Greenpeace members illegally boarded Shell’s Polar Pioneer as it made its way up to Seattle from Hawaii.
Shell’s plan to house part of its Arctic fleet at the Port of Seattle has sparked push back from environmentalist and some city officials.
Last week the mayor of Seattle said the city’s port must apply for new land-use permit if it wants to house the company’s Arctic armada.
Shell is currently planning to deploy over 20 vessels to kick off its revamped U.S. Arctic drilling campaign.
Earlier this week the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management granted conditional approval to Shell’s revised plan to drill in offshore Alaska.
The plan calls for up to six wells to be drilled in the Burger Prospect, located about 70 miles from the village of Wainwright in about 140 feet of water.
Shell must still obtain all necessary permits from other state and federal agencies, including drilling permits from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The company must also wait until all biological opinions under the Endangered Species Act have been issued before drilling operations can start.