Port Metro Vancouver

Port Metro Vancouver

September 23, 2015 09:00 ET

Port Metro Vancouver Updates Progress on Fraser River Cleanup Program

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 23, 2015) - Port Metro Vancouver has so far addressed 118 of 151 sites identified in the Fraser River Improvement Initiative, a program to clean up municipal waterways and shipping channels. The update was provided last night to attendees of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

Derelict vessels, abandoned boats, and structures like old docks can be safety risks, create pollution, and are unsightly. By law, they are the owner's responsibility, which can make them difficult to resolve. The resolution of these sites often solve long-standing safety, environmental and community concerns.

The initiative targets neglected vessels and structures that pose risk to wildlife or natural habitats, or impede navigational safety on the Fraser River, such as vessels that are sinking or leaking fuel. Port Metro Vancouver starts by trying to contact owners and, where possible, work with them to ensure safe removal. The port authority has committed approximately $2 million over five years to the initiative, which began in 2013.

"These sites can be an environmental or navigational hazard on the river, and can lessen the quality of life in local communities," said Tom Corsie, Vice President of Real Estate at Port Metro Vancouver. "We are proud of the progress we've made in improving the river and ensuring owners take appropriate responsibility for their vessels or property."

Recent sites that have been addressed under the program include several vessels on the shores of the Annacis Channel in New Westminster, such as an abandoned catamaran and power boat that were embedded in the shore, causing considerable public concern and creating the potential for environmental damage. Another resolved site required removal of piles in Gunderson Slough in Delta, ultimately benefitting the intertidal marsh habitat in the area, navigation and public safety.

Port Metro Vancouver is recognized globally as a leader in environmental stewardship, including by Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room. In 2015, the port authority announced initiatives such as shore power for container vessels, the launch of an underwater listening station to better understand the impact of ship noise on at-risk whales, and the winners of the Blue Circle Award, the latter of which recognizes environmental stewardship of marine carriers as part of the EcoAction program. Port Metro Vancouver was also recognized as a responsible leader in sustainability for the second year in a row by Corporate Knights.

About Port Metro Vancouver:

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada's largest port and the third largest tonnage port in North America, responsible for Canada's trade with more than 160 world economies. Located in a naturally beautiful setting on Canada's west coast, Port Metro Vancouver is responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, and integrates environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations. Port Metro Vancouver is committed to meaningful engagement with the communities in which it operates and the shared obligation to improve the quality of life for Canadians. Enabling the trade of approximately $187 billion in goods annually, the port generates an estimated 100,000 jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP across Canada. As a non-shareholder, financially self-sufficient corporation established by the Government of Canada, Port Metro Vancouver operates pursuant to the Canada Marine Act and is accountable to the elected federal Minister of Transport.

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Background on Fraser River Improvement Initiative

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