- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) - Thousands of people are planning to rally in Anacortes this weekend to protest the oil flowing from two refineries in the area.

But some worry protesters on land and in kayaks could also interfere with the region’s largest colony of great blue herons.

Biologist Ann Eissinger tells KUOW-FM (https://goo.gl/1r92by ) that the cause may be noble but the timing and location of the event are terrible for about 1,700 adult herons that breed at March Point. The birds currently are foraging to feed the babies in their nests. She’s worried all the activity from the protests could do real damage.

Event spokesman Ahmed Gaya says organizers have adjusted their plans to minimize the impact on herons. They’ve moved the location of the march to avoid critical habitat, modified when kayakers would be in the bay and made other changes.

He says the oil refineries ultimately pose a bigger threat to the birds.

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Information from: KUOW-FM, https://www.kuow.org/

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