A coalition of volunteers, community groups, municipal staff and local businesses clear the largest masses of trash – abandoned boats – from Cadboro Bay beach Oct. 14.
“We’re finally getting rid of the dead boats on Cadboro beach,” said John Roe, of the Veins of Life Watershed Society, among the early instigators of the cleanup.
He started his process four years ago after a fire started in one beached boat and raged into the treeline. He reached out to the Cadboro Bay Community Association 18 months ago. That fire-ravaged hull was cut into three pieces and hauled down the beach to Gyro Park where it was cut down by welders and hauled away to Hartland Landfill.
“This is a real community effort here today,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “It’s really a cross-jurisdictional cooperative day.”
A spring cleanup spurred by residents and community groups after Saanich removed vessels from its side of the bay, was delayed by a funding shortfall.
Local municipalities have long lobbied the province and federal government to provide aid in prevention and cleanup of derelict and abandoned boats.
While hopes for financial help from the federal program fizzled, in July, Oak Bay approved $4,000 from its grant in aid funds to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club to assist in the continued clean up and removal of derelict vessels as well as district Parks staff to aid in the cleanup. The province also provided funds, and local businesses donated time and equipment.