An abandoned boat is recovered by the Port Edward Harbour Authority. (File photo)

An abandoned boat is recovered by the Port Edward Harbour Authority. (File photo)

37 abandoned B.C. boats targeted for removal from shoreline

Advocate society estimates number of derelict vessels in province exceeds 4,200

The federal government is providing $1.7 million for the removal of 37 abandoned boats littering the harbours and shorelines of British Columbia.

Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced the funding Feb. 16 under the Abandoned Boats Program, which will also cover costs for assessing 41 additional B.C. vessels already on the radar for removal and disposal.

Derelict vessels are viewed as having negative economic, social and environmental impacts on coastal communities, polluting the marine environment, harming local businesses like tourism and fisheries, damaging infrastructure, interfering with navigation and posing safety risks to mariners.

In 2017 $6.85 million was allocated to the transportation ministry’s Abandoned Boats Program. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s also launched a $1.3-million Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program for federally owned small craft harbours. Both programs are financed through the $1.5-billion Ocean’s Protection Plan of 2016.

READ MORE: Abandoning a boat in Canadian waters will no longer be legal: Garneau

To date, 201 vessels have been removed from the Canadian shoreline.

“Abandoned and wrecked vessels have no place in our oceans and coastal communities. They’re a danger to our natural environment and they take up space in what should be our community hubs,” Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan said. “This is about protecting and preserving our beautiful coastlines so they can be utilized and enjoyed to their potential by Canadians.”

In B.C. the largest of the recently-announced projects include $327,000 in funding to the Coastal Restoration Society for the disposal of 11 boats in Tofino, and $551,000 for Salish Sea Industrial Services to remove and dispose of 24 boats in the Victoria area.

Salish Sea’s operations manager, Rob Menzies, said the company will retrieve sunk and beached vessels for on-shore containment and a hazardous materials inspection and removal.

Harmful materials likely include asbestos, leachable lead and hydrocarbons. Anything else that’s reusable or recyclable will be stripped out before the remnants are shipped to the landfill.

The Dead Boat Disposal Society has identified more than 4,200 abandoned vessels on B.C.’s coastline.

In addition to a handful of projects in the Atlantic provinces, funding for further assessment or removal in B.C. has been approved for Alert Bay, Barkley Sound, Nootka Sound and Bella Bella.

The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act of 2019 now makes it illegal to abandon vessels, increases liability with fines of up to $1 million for individuals and $6 million for companies. The act also enables the government to remove problem vessels.

Due to the economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is covering 100 per cent of costs, up to $50,000, to the organizations assessing or removing the problem boats. The government’s previous commitment covered a maximum of 75 per cent.

In the Atlantic provinces, the latest round of program funding will cover costs for the removal of 14 boats, and assessments on three more.

To report an abandoned vessel in B.C. call the Canadian Coast Guard at 1-800-889-8852.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maureen Garry is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Educator of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Former teacher at David Cameron Elementary a tireless advocate for musical education

Maureen Garry is West Shore’s 2021 Educator of the Year

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Camosun Cares hampers will be delivered weekly to students for a period of nine weeks. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
Weekly care hampers offered to Camosun College students in need

The Camosun Cares hamper delivers fresh produce, prepared meals, hygiene products and even recipes

The West Shore Community Response Network (CRN) is urging awareness around National Fraud Prevention Month, so residents can especially help protect older and vulnerable adults against fraud. (Photo by Joshua Hoehne/Upsplash)
March dialed in as National Fraud Prevention Month

West Shore Community Response Network urges citizens to protect seniors against phone, email scams

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

Most Read