The District is exploring a regional approach to coordinating environmental protection and improvement initiatives on and surrounding the Saanich Peninsula.
The initiative would be a forum for sharing of information, running awareness programs and providing a Peninsula-wide approach to managing open moorage issues. Funded by the three municipalities, we feel we can make greater strides together. Our LOO application will remain open; we have not walked away from it, but a regionally broader approach is the best way forward right now.
The proposed initiative would be coordinated by the Capital Regional District and serve the waters surrounding the Saanich Peninsula, namely Sidney, North Saanich, and Central Saanich, in the areas of:
a. monitoring, mapping, reporting and public education on issues relating to the marine and shore area environments;
b. coordination and collaboration with public authorities and other persons on issues relating to the marine and shore area environments; and
c. implementing programs related to rehabilitation and improvement of the marine and shore area environments.
Reporting concerns about vessels in Brentwood Bay
Sewage dumping from private vessel
Oil or fuel leak
Navigational hazard or blocks other boats from the waterway
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Coast Guard 24/7
Coast Guard 24/7
Call 911 for emergency services if:
- lives are in danger
- there is a maritime emergency
- you’ve seen suspicious activities
- the vessel is an immediate and serious threat to public safety because of fire or explosion
The District made application for a Licence of Occupation over an area of Brentwood Bay to address community concerns about a number of issues in the Bay. The main concerns are derelict and abandoned boats (in prior years the area has been cleaned up, but due to the lack of regulatory oversight, the Bay fills up again), sewage/garbage, vessels numbers and speed. The Licence of Occupation does not appear to be the best way forward for the community at this time, and the application is on hold while the District explores a regional approach coordinated by the Capital Regional District.
The process of regulating speed in the Bay is through an application process to Transport Canada, it is established under Practices and Procedures for Public Ports, Canada Marine Act.
Vessels owners on the moorings require Protection and Indemnity (essentially third party liability) insurance, to ensure that the District or other parties don't bear the cost of something that results from uninsured vessel being in the licenced area. The insurance is for the liability to other vessels and docks, not for the replacement of vessels.
The cost of such insurance could be verified by calling an agent. Protection and Indemnity insurance is available from a number of brokers and insurance agencies and the cost depends on your vessel's size and condition. Household insurance does not cover this risk. Proof of a holding tank and pump out will be required.
- The working group included over 30 participants and at least 11 participants are believed to be liveaboards (six specifically signed in stating they were liveaboards).
- The discussion of the Management Plan commenced at the meeting of September 27 and liveaboards were invited and have attended every subsequent meeting. Two representatives of the BC Nautical Residents Association also attended. All meetings of the working group were open to the public and participation was open to drop-ins (this was designed to remove any barriers to participation).
- An open house was held in Brentwood Bay on August 22, 2017 with approximately 50 people in attendance.
- A survey was conducted with approximately 300 responses.
- District Council, as well as district staff, have been and remain accessible to all stakeholders on this issue. Council meetings are open to the public and videos of the meetings are posted online.
- Regular updates were posted to the engagement website (PlaceSpeak) dedicated to hearing from the community on Brentwood Bay; it was viewed close to 3,000 times.
- All members of the community are encouraged to participate in the on going conversation.
Survey findings (highlights):
- One of the strongest messages heard from the Tsartlip First Nations community was the desire to use the harbour as a food source. The Bay is currently closed to harvesting due to contamination.
- Sewage discharge and garbage from vessels moored and operating within the area was recognized as the most significant concern for the community. 90% of respondents support the Saanich Inlet being a 'no sewage dump zone' and 89% support strict enforcement of the required holding tank law.
- Abandoned and sunken vessels were the next highest concern, followed by the accumulation of too many vessels and navigating the crowded waters safely.
- There is support for regulating the number of buoys in Brentwood Bay, with 78% agreement, 18% neutral and 4% is disagreement. 37% of respondents believe that acceptable, affordable moorage currently exists in Brentwood Bay, 14% disagree and 49% neutral on the question. 80% of respondents support dedicated moorage being available for visiting boaters in Brentwood Bay. It is known that moorage is not always available.
- There is a high concern about unlicensed and possibly uninsured vessels (84%).
- Navigational channels are a concern for 69% of the survey respondents.
If you know of a vessel in the capital region that appears abandoned or wrecked that is onshore, afloat or sunk, please contact the CRD: Email; 250.360.3030; 1.800.663.4425 local 3030.
Helpful information includes:
- Exact location
- Vessel name and description
- License number or other identifier
- How long it’s been in that location