Click here to meet the POSPET Team
Click here to view POSPET’s 2016 work plan

Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team and OILS 911

The Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team (POSPET) evolved from the simple premise that small oil spills can add up to cause significant environmental and economic harm, and that they are a regional problem that can be remedied more effectively through collaborative projects drawing from existing talent and resources. For over a decade, POSPET has served as a forum for exchanging information and outreach ideas about prevention of oil spills and other boater best management practices while providing boat and marina operators with a consistent and accurate pollution prevention messages. POSPET members include representatives from state and federal agencies, industry associations, and nonprofit groups from Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and nationwide. The POSPET team members also track the number of certified “Clean Marinas” and “Clean Harbors” within their jurisdictions, where these programs exist. Table 1 lists the current number of facilities certified in Alaska, British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington. These certification programs recognize marinas and harbors that educate boaters on spill and pollution prevention practices. Each certified facility must be re-certified every 1-3 years.

Total number of certified Clean Marinas or Clean Harbors as of June, 2017

State/Province Total number of certified Clean Marinas or Clean Harbors in as of October 2015  
Alaska 4 http://alaskacleanharbors.org/
British Columbia 21 https://georgiastrait.org/work/cleanmarinebc/marinas/
California 128 http://www.cleanmarina.org/cleanabout.shtml
Oregon 63 http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Clean/Pages/clean_marina.aspx
Washington 73 http://www.cleanmarinawashington.org/
Total 289  


A Spills aren’t Slick sign posted at Port Townsend Marina in Washington.

A Spills aren’t Slick sign posted at Port Townsend Marina in Washington.

Spills Aren’t Slick campaign

Another successful achievement of the POSPET team is the Spills Aren’t Slick campaign, which has done much to bring the impact of even small releases of oil on the environment. The team created a set of Spills Aren’t Slick signs and decals, which are widely distributed by POSPET members. These have been posted at boat ramps and marinas, among other highly visible locations.

PDF files for the Spills Aren’t Slick materials are avialable by clicking here.

Volunteer management programs for Washington and California

Washington and California have developed oil spill response volunteer coordination programs to allow citizens to participate in oil spill response efforts. Please see links below for each state’s program.


As part of the Spills Aren’t Slick campaign, POSPET publicizes 1-800-OILS-911, a toll-free number for the general public to report oil spills. It’s an easy number to remember and can be used anywhere on the West Coast from British Columbia to California. When a boater calls this number it is automatically routed to the emergency office of the relevant jurisdiction.  In 2012, the calls by jurisdiction are summarized in Table 2 (Note: at present, Hawaii and Alaska are not participating in the program)

Washington Department of Ecology NW Regional Office employees promote OILS 911. Washington Department of Ecology NW Regional Office employees promote OILS 911.

Washington Department of Ecology NW Regional Office employees promote OILS 911. Washington Department of Ecology NW Regional Office employees promote OILS 911.

Table 2: OILS-911 calls made 1999-2016

Table 2: OILS-911 calls made 1999-2016

Interested in joining the POSPET listserv? Please click here.

Featured Program

The California Dockwalker Program (DP) is conducted by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission. The primary goal of the Dockwalkers is to increase and improve clean boating practices throughout the State. Dockwalkers are volunteer educators who conduct face-to-face boater education on environmentally sound and safe boating practices. Dockwalkers visit various marinas, boat launch ramps, boat shows and boating events around the state. They distribute boater kits and interact with boaters through a survey on certain boating habits. The survey allows the Dockwalker Program and its partners to not only identify gaps in environmental services and target boater education efforts, but for boaters to learn something new. (The program aspires to teach even the most seasoned boater something new). Participants in return receive a boater kit.


Please visit http://www.dbw.parks.ca.gov/Environmental/CleanGreen/Dockwalker.aspx for more information

Members of the Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team (POSPET)


Rachel Lord
Clean Water Program Director
Cook Inletkeeper
907- 235-4068 x29

Since 2010, Rachel has coordinated regional and statewide clean boating efforts around Alaska. She works for Cook Inletkeeper, a community-based nonprofit based in Homer, Alaska and oversees the Alaska Clean Harbors program – a voluntary, nonregulatory program working with harbors around the state on waste management and pollution prevention best practices.

British Columbia

Michelle Young
Clean Marine BC
Program Coordinator
(250) 753-3459

Michelle Young is Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC Program Coordinator. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Certificate in Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University. She splits her time between Clean Marine BC and her Financial Coordinator positions, and also spent three years in a campaign role advocating for a transition of harmful net cage salmon farming to closed containment technology. She has enjoyed living, working, and playing by boat in remote corners of the Salish Sea.


Vivian Matuk
Environmental Program Boating Coordinator
Boating Clean and Green Program
California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and California Coastal Commission
(415) 904-6905

Vivian Matuk is the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) Environmental Boating Program Coordinator. The Program is led by DBW and implemented in partnership with CCC. The program promotes environmentally sound boating practices to marine business and boaters. Vivian has a Bachelor degree in Biology from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, South America and a Masters in Geography concentration in Environmental Management and Natural Resource Planning from San Francisco State University. Vivian previously worked with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. She also worked with the National Coffee Research Center in Colombia developing eco-toxicological tests to measure the impact caused by coffee-processing wastes.
Vivian has been awarded the “Steven Pease Memorial Award” for outstanding graduate student in 2000 and the 2011 National Environmental Leadership Award provided by the BoatUS Foundation.


Meg Gardner
Environmental Programs Coordinator
Oregon State Marine Board
(503) 378-2611

Meg Gardner is the Environmental Programs Coordinator for the Oregon State Marine Board, based in Salem, OR. She coordinates Oregon’s Clean Marina and Clean Boater Programs, as well as the Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Program. Meg has a B.S. in marine biology and environmental science from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and M.S. in coastal resource science, policy, and management from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining the Marine Board in May of 2015, Meg worked coordinating environmental programs for nonprofit groups in Seattle, WA and Sandy Hook, NJ. Most recently, she was a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow in Newport, OR, working jointly with the Department of Land Conservation and Development and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on mapping and analyzing shoreline armoring along the Oregon coast. Outside of work, Meg is an avid outdoor enthusiast and triathlete who greatly enjoys living in and exploring the Pacific Northwest.




Aaron Barnett
Washington Sea Grant
Boating Program Specialist
(206) 616-8929

As Washington Sea Grant’s Boating Program Specialist, Aaron Barnett works with boat owners, marina operators, and port managers to keep Washington’s waters safe for people and wildlife. Based in Port Townsend, Aaron manages Pumpout Washington, a partnership with the Washington State Parks Boating Program that keeps sewage out of local waterways. Since he piloted the program in 2012, Aaron has distributed more than 8,000 kits that make it easier and cleaner for boaters to dispose of wastewater properly. He also works with marinas to install pump-out stations, with more than 150 now located throughout the state.

Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary arts and sciences and received a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

Shayne Cothern
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Environmental Specialist-Sediment Quality Unit
(360) 902-1064

Shayne Cothern has worked for DNR for the past 15 years, most recently as DNR’s Spill Response Coordinator and NRDAR Coordinator and Contaminated Sediment Site Manager. He has been involved with POSPET for six years, and is a member of the Washington State Resource Damage Assessment and Coastal Protection Fund Committees. Additionally, he is a co-trustee representative for DNR on numerous CERCLA and/or MTCA NRDA committees across the state, including Commencement Bay, Pt. Gamble, Pt. Gardner, and the Duwamish.

Shayne is a previous member of Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore EPA Grant Program Review Panel, and has been involved in actively managing contaminated aquatic sites on state owned aquatic land across the state.

Lisa Isakson
Washington State Department of Ecology
Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator
(360) 407-7211

Lisa Isakson is the outreach and volunteer coordinator for Washington Department of Ecology. She collaborates with non-profit organizations, businesses, and other government agencies to develop and implement materials and campaigns that focus on spill prevention. In addition, she works to register and provide training opportunities for oil spill volunteers.