Some boat owners are just abandoning their craft in B.C. waters


Abandoned boats aren’t just an eyesore – they are an environmental and navigational hazard.

This might seem obvious, but some boat owners in the province aren’t getting the message.

Photo courtesy Boating BC

Boating BC is trying to change that.

The group has launched the Abandoned Boats Education and Awareness Campaign to make boaters aware of their responsibility to manage each vessel through the end of its life – and provide information on boat-disposal options.

Boating BC received a grant under Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program which supports the assessment, removal and disposal of abandoned boats in Canadian waters.

Aspects of the three-year campaign will include radio, print, web-based and social media content. The campaign will also be leveraged through municipal and industry gatherings and promoted by association members throughout the province. Another aspect of the campaign is the creation of a database that includes boat disposal options.

“Boating BC believes this is an opportunity to educate recreational boaters and the recreational boating industry and increase awareness of the responsibility to manage their vessel through to the end of its life,” said association president Don Prittie in a news release. “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.”

Abandoned or derelict boats may wash ashore or sink, releasing fuel or toxins which put marine life and habitat at risk.