Construction is well underway at the coast guard’s new depot station on Jensen Cove Road. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Construction is well underway at the coast guard’s new depot station on Jensen Cove Road. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Construction underway at coast guard’s new logistics depot building

The new 16,000 square foot marine response facility in Port Hardy will strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard’s capacity to respond to incidents in the areas of northern Vancouver Island and on the central coast of British Columbia.

Project Manager Eric Douglas says the depot will be a multi-function location, as it’s “an important spot for the Canadian Coast Guard for search and rescue operations and for environmental response.”

He noted the depot is “as far north as we can drive in order to ship something, and the new floating dock will be a key piece of equipment for the coast guard … This will be a great facility, it’s been purposely designed for environmental response operations.”

The new building and property will provide office space, storage space for environmental response equipment and Aids to Navigation equipment, and a large drive-on floating dock for easy loading of specialized pollution response vessels and other Coast Guard ships.

Specially trained environmental response staff, who have been working out of a temporary facility in Port Hardy since 2018, will move their operations to this new facility.

The new building will offer meeting rooms and training space for Coast Guard and other local first responders, a mechanics workshop for small boat maintenance. It will also have the capacity to support an Incident Command Post with a kitchen, laundry, and accommodations in the event of a marine emergency in a remote location.

The cost of the new building is $8.8 million, with completion expected in December of 2021.

Once complete, the building will be staffed by three Environmental Response Specialists, four Engineering and Informatics Technicians and a Senior Advisor from Coast Guard’s Indigenous Relations and Partnerships.

The facility will house new equipment including:

Pollution Response Vessels (PRVs);

Aqua Guard Triton 60 Skimmers;

5000 ft of curtain boom;

Storage barges for recovered oil;

A Mobile Incident Command Post; and

Offshore response equipment that can be loaded onto Coast Guard ships at the new facility.

The new marine response facility is funded under the Oceans Protection Plan. Since the Oceans Protection Plan started in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection spanning all of Canada’s coasts.


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The new dock that was floated over from Vancouver. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

The new dock that was floated over from Vancouver. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)