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Feds doling out $1.5M for removal of 18 derelict boats from B.C., Atlantic coasts

18 abandoned vessels will be pulled out from Bamfield, Barkley Sound and Nootka Sound waters
A decommissioned Royal Canadian Navy diving support ship sat derelict in Bridgewater, N.S. in 2019. ANDREW VAUGHAN /THE CANADIAN PRESS

The federal government has plans to dole out $1.5-million for the removal of 32 abandoned boats along Canada’s coastline, including more than a dozen in British Columbia.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced the bolstering of support Friday (July 16) which will also see the removal of derelict vessels in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Abandoned boats pose a serious threat to the marine environment, fisheries, tourism, local infrastructure and navigation,” said Alghabra.

18 vessels to be removed from the Island

Tofino-based Coastal Restoration Society is one of the five recipients to receive a portion of the funds in order to remove the 18 derelict vessels. Two are located near Bamfield, eight in Barkley Sound and eight are in Nootka Sound.

“This will create numerous job opportunities for both short-term and long-term employment, training and contract opportunities for local businesses,” said CRS project lead Spencer Benda.

The nonprofit plans to extricate the boats and debris in a safe and timely manner, Benda said.

This will help restore the local ecosystem and restore the damage done to marine environments, added Alghabra, who also announced the country’s plans to fund research into vessel recycling and disposal.

Launched in November 2016, the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.

To date, funding for the Abandoned Boats Program has led to the assessment of 153 boat removal projects and the removal of 163 boats.

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