Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has announced it will seek federal funding on derelict vessels, for a total of $1,050,000 in two grants from the Abandoned Boats Program (ABP). These grants consist of $50,000 in Abandoned Boat Education and Awareness funding and $1,000,000 in Abandoned Boat Assessment and Removals funding, with the CRD contributing $16,667 and $333,333, respectively.
“Abandoned boats create a significant environmental and safety risk for our region,” said Barbara Desjardins, CRD Board Chair. “The Board supports a regional funding application to maximize available federal grants and ensure ongoing leadership to address the issue.”
The federal government’s Abandoned Boats Program is a multi-year initiative consisting of two separate components: (1) Education, Awareness and Research, and (2) Removal and Disposal of abandoned boats that pose a hazard in Canadian waters. The deadline for funding applications are September 30 and October 30, respectively.
The CRD support will come from an expansion of the Environmental Resource Management Community Clean-up Program to include the ABP initiative. Further, CRD staff will approach the Southern Vancouver Island Regional Districts, the Islands Trust and First Nations regarding potential ways to work together to address abandoned boats under the federal ABP initiative.
In addition, the Board agreed to write a letter to Transportation Minister Marc Garneau outlining comments and concerns from CRD Directors, including:
- streamlining the vessel removal process into a simple one-call solution,
- using BC as a vessel licensing program test site,
- federal research into the materials that may safely be used in hulls, and
- strategies for the disposal of vessels which may contain hazardous waste.