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Seattle Bay Filled With Kayaktivists Protesting Shell Arctic Drilling

More than 200 environmentalists calling themselves “kayaktivists” held a water-borne protest in Seattle’s Elliott Bay in an effort to persuade Royal Dutch Shell to abandon plans to make a second foray to into Arctic Ocean to conduct exploratory drilling for oil and gas. But Shell says its mind is made up.

The May 16 protest, lightheartedly called the “Paddle in Seattle,” was held in one of the city’s parks and in the nearby Bay not far from where the drilling rig Polar Pioneer is docked, while Shell awaits the final permits to begin the trip north.

The protest seemed to include people from the entire spectrum of the Seattle area, which is known for embracing environmental causes. Among those present to oppose Shell’s drilling plans were the city’s mayor, Ed Murray, and the City Council.

One protester was Eric Day of the Swinomish tribe of western Washington State, who like many other Native Americans, brought his canoe to take part in the demonstration. Day said it’s important for all industries, including energy companies, to respect the livelihoods of those who rely on the environment for their subsistence.

“This is our livelihood,” he told The Associated Press. “We need…

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