Submitted by Islands’ Oil Spill Association.
Tony Parkin has been hired as the new executive director of the Islands’ Oil Spill Association. Hailing from the United Kingdom, he used his degree in geology and oceanography to launch an international career in marine science, remote-sensing, and over the past 30 years, oil spill response and planning. Parkin and his family moved to the islands from Alaska in January. For Parkin, coming south and working with the San Juan Islands community is the perfect fit.
“I’ve traveled around the world responding to and planning for spills. I’ve worked with and for community advocacy groups, industry, science operations, Native communities, commercial fishermen and many more,” Parkin said. “For me, IOSA is the perfect blend of all of that, but in a grassroots, community spirit kind of way that is remarkably unique in the spill response world. My family and I are thrilled to be here.”
IOSA Board President and Lopez Islander J Havner highlights the challenges and opportunities ahead, “IOSA has been in a rebuilding mode, and Tony represents a new stage in the evolution of the organization. His breadth of spill response experience coupled with plenty of years living and working in communities far smaller and more remote than ours makes him a great fit for both IOSA and the islands.”
As for his first months on the job, Parkin is focusing on the basics, “Mostly I’m just getting to know people, understanding the needs of the organization and the community. Lots of great conversations, and everything from getting outboard motors running smoothly to working with the Port of Friday Harbor on design of the planned IOSA Operations Base at Jensen’s Marina. It’s been a blast.”
San Juan County Council Chair and IOSA Board Member Jamie Stephens welcomes Parkin and values an expanded IOSA.
“IOSA plays a critical role in protecting the islands from spills small and large. San Juan County residents have enthusiastically supported IOSA for many years, and we’re now in a place where that partnership will only continue to grow,” he said.
Parkin’s office is at the end of the Sprint Street Landing dock in Friday Harbor, next to the saltwater aquarium. If you see him in there, knock on the door, and have a socially distanced cup of tea. Parkin is eager to connect.
IOSA is a nonprofit, community oil spill response organization. Since 1985, IOSA has been providing the San Juan Islands with prompt, effective oil spill response and prevention- including the training of volunteer spill responders, maintaining spill response equipment, and educating about prevention and containment of oil spills. For more information, visit www.iosaonline.org.