Boating BC Awarded Grant to Educate Boaters About Derelict and Abandoned Vessels
Boating BC will be utilizing a grant from Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program to educate and make boaters aware of the responsibility to manage each vessel through the end of its life.
Boating BC was informed yesterday that the Association is a recipient of a $50,000 grant for each of the next three years, through the Education & Awareness Program for Recreational Boaters in British Columbia Project.
“The issue of derelict and abandoned vessels is a serious one and most prevalent along the British Columbia coast,” says Boating BC President Don Prittie. “They are an eyesore - but more significantly, they pose environmental and safety risks. Abandoned or derelict boats may wash ashore or sink, releasing fuel or toxins which put marine life and habitat at risk. Likewise, these vessels also pose a danger to the boating public and beachgoers and are a hindrance to waterfront businesses and local economies.”
Boating BC has been advocating for action for years and submitted an application under the program to facilitate development of an educational campaign and data base of boat disposal options, among other initiatives. The Association will also work with its association members across much of the province to promote the campaign in their respective communities.
“There is a need to address the current problem and I applaud government for taking steps to remove abandoned vessels across the province,” says Prittie. “We know the vast majority of boaters are responsible, but not all – and we need to ensure this issue is not a recurring one. Step-one is educating and holding boat owners accountable for their vessels and ensuring they know how and where they can dispose of them.”