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A very interesting CRUISE TO REMEMBER by Gary Clow


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Environment News

The Marine Environment

A Shared Responsibility

Every recreational boater has a vested interest in preserving both the safety and the beauty of the waterways that are our playgrounds, not to mention a responsibility to do so for the inhabitants and other users of those waters, both present and future. Every vessel has an environmental impact -- it is up to skippers and crews to make certain that the environmental impact is minimal, and that the environment does not suffer from boaters' enjoyment of their local waters.

Environmental issues related to boating activity fall into five main categories:

• The handling of fuels, lubricants, and coolants
• Discharge of sewage or noxious grey water
• Boat maintenance
• Protection of in-shore habitats
• Applicable marine laws

What can you do to minimize the environmental impact of your vessel?
A Marine Environment brochure has been prepared for use by the Squadrons.
Read  The Marine Environment - A Shared Responsibility a document that has been prepared by the Squadron Environment Officers of Pacific Mainland District, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, to be used as a tool to educate students, members and others in their responsibilities to the environment in which their boats are operated. It has been developed from other documents within CPS with relevant information added for boaters in British Columbia and contains detailed information on how to preserve both the safety and the beauty of the waterways from the above environmental issues listed.

Environment Award for PMD

Jacques Hebert, National Chairman of the Environment Committee, presented the National Environment Award to Commander Glen Blake of Pacific Mainland District at the 2007 Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Commander Blake in turn presented it to Environment Officer Patricia Brandlmayr who accepted it on behalf of the Squadron Environment Officers for their active involvement in presenting Environmental issues and information to the students and members of their Squadrons. The Award is in the form of a replica of the National Award and is a keeper.

Environmental Alert


Date: June 17, 2006

The Puget Sound Action Team (PSAT) has asked RBAW to make its members aware of a new invasive species in Puget Sound. The Club Tunicate (Styela clava) has been identified by the PSAT as an invasive threat and PSAT has asked NW boaters to help to keep it from spreading.

Puget Sound has several native species of tunicates, but these new invasive species have no natural predators and thus threaten commercial and recreational shell fishing and aquaculture.

Club tunicates resemble a small wooden club. Boaters can see photos of Club Tunicates on the following web site: www.wainvasivespecies.org. The Club Tunicate prefers shallow water in protected bays. They attach themselves to boat hulls and marina floats. They can grow to nearly 8" in length.

Once they attach to a surface they do not move, unless of course they attach to a boat, which does move. When attached to a boat, they can move to new areas, reproduce, and potentially establish themselves in a new location.

Boaters can help in several ways:

  • Keeping the bottom of your boat clean.
  • Applying antifouling paints to the boat bottom as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Learning to identify the Club Tunicate (see the web site) and report sightings of the Club Tunicate online or by phone to 1-800-54-SOUND.

For more information, see the website listed above. On the website under "Publications" you can find a printable reference card with photos and the reporting phone number.

Thanks for your help.

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons were founded with a Mission Statement to teach “Safe Boating” and to also recognize that a boat must be operated in both a “Safe and Environmentally friendly manner”.

The environmental aspect of boating includes the following non-exclusive issues and areas of environmental awareness faced by boaters on the West Coast and to a great extent on the inland waters:

  • Management of bilge water and grey water
  • Management of garbage with knowledge of disposal sites at Marinas and Harbours –- and of areas where there is no resources for disposal
  • Best practices in fuelling
  • Best practices in cleaning decks, topsides and applying anti-fouling paints
  • Best practices in mechanical maintenance, i.e. oils, greases, hydraulic fluids
  • Knowledge of Government regulations regarding No-Discharge Zones
  • Locations and requirements for pump out stations
  • Knowledge of regulations of marine mammals such as Whales, Marine Birds, and sensitive areas such as Rivers and Stream Estuaries, shellfish areas, kelp beds and enclosed bays
  • Who and when to call to report an environmental incident or to obtain information

One of the best and most comprehensive references for information on the subject is the “Guide to Green Boating” published by the Georgia Strait Alliance. The publication and a number of other resources can be found at their website http://www.georgiastrait.org/ and the publication can be ordered in hardcover at no cost from their officer at 195 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G5.

The National Office of CPS publishes the Enviro Boater Guide for an overview of enviro boating but it does not include specifics on rules and regulations related to West Coast boating.

Guidelines for watching marine wildlife such as Whale Watching can be obtained at several sources: Fisheries and Oceans Canada at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/; Marine Mammal Monitoring Project at http://www.salishsea.ca/ and Strait Watch at http://www.straitwatch.org/. Literature and information on whales is available from Life Force Foundation, Box 3117, Vancouver, V6B 3X6 and also through e-mail at lifeforcefoundation@3web.net.

Remember that, in our role as “Safe” boaters, we also assume stewardship of our Environment both individually and collectively.

Environmental Officer - Bill Marshall