Feds funding new abandoned boat cleanups

The federal government has announced $1,692,079 in funding is being provided to assess 44 boat removal projects in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and to remove 51 abandoned boats in British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

These announcements follow the coming-into-force of the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act on July 30, 2019. The Act makes it illegal to abandon boats, increases vessel owner liability, and strengthens the Government of Canada’s response in cases where owners do not behave responsibly in disposing of their vessels at the end of their useful life.

In light of the economic impacts related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada will pay 100% of costs for boat removal assessment projects and for boat removal and disposal projects, for a maximum of $50,000 per project instead of 75% as in previous years.

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

Since the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been introduced/implemented in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection.

In 2017, the Government launched two vessel removal programs: Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program for federally owned small craft harbours.

Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. Since May 31, 2017, the program has launched five calls for proposals for projects to be funded through grants and contributions.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program is providing up to $1.325 million over five years to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vessels located in federal small craft harbours.

To date, funding through the Abandoned Boats Program has led to the assessment of 109 boat removal projects, and the removal of 112 boats in Canada. Today’s announcement provides funding for an additional 44 boat assessment projects and 51 boat removals across Canada.