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

Port Hardy Senior Citizens’ Society president Rosaline Glynn holds up the certificate from B.C. Premier John Horgan next to Loaves & Fishes director Peter Sinclair, vice president Kris Huddlestan, and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy council to nominate Glynn for the Order of British Columbia

Glynn’s nomination was endorsed unanimously by council.

Emergency personnel crews on scene assisting BCEHS with patient care. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Speed and alcohol believed to be the cause of Saturday night car crash

More information on the crash could potentially be released at a later date.

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in accident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19 logging site in Gold River

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council
Council discusses Highland Manor sale

Port Hardy council debates what approach to take to Highland Manor after sale.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read