Crews work to remove an abandoned boat from the Gorge Waterway. (Photo courtesy of John Roe)

Crews work to remove an abandoned boat from the Gorge Waterway. (Photo courtesy of John Roe)

CRD seeks more funding to remove abandoned boats

40 vessels have been removed to date, with another 30-plus waiting for assessment

The Capital Regional District board is asking for more money to help aid in the removal of abandoned boats from local waters.

According to Colin Plant, CRD board chair, officials have been able to identify almost twice as many derelict vessels than they have funding in order to properly remove them. To date, 40 vessels have been removed through the CRD’s partnership with the non-profit Dead Boat Disposal Society, with an estimated 30 to 35 more boats reported for assessment.

READ ALSO: Derelict trimaran removed from Oak Bay waters

The federal government’s Abandoned Boat Program is a multi-year initiative with two different components — education, awareness and research, along with the removal and disposal of abandoned boats — as part of the federal $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan to save Canada’s coasts and waterways

The program’s progress was made possible by an initial $50,000 grant through the Abandoned Boat Program which the CRD received in 2018. Through the current program funding model, Transport Canada provides 100 per cent of the assessment costs but only 75 per cent of the removal and disposal costs. The CRD’s portion of removal and disposal comes from funds set aside for marine-related debris disposal and is estimated to cost $150,000 to $200,000.

READ ALSO: Owner of boat ashore near Oak Bay Marina works to clear the wreckage

The CRD has also agreed to write a letter to Transportation Minister Marc Garneau to advocate that the removal and disposal costs of derelict boats be 100 per cent funded by the federal government.

CRD staff are working closely with municipalities, regional districts, Island Trust and local First Nations to coordinate efforts that address abandoned boats under the federal ABP initiative, for more information visit crd.bc.ca/boat.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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