Crews are preparing for the removal of about 24 vessels and four floating wharves that have been illegally moored in the Gorge Waterway for several years – several used as residences.
Last week, city crew posted notices requesting owners to remove their boats and vessels from the waterway, by Friday, Oct. 28.
A previous notice was issued in mid-June and only three vessels left the area.
In May, city council approved changes to limit long-term limit mooring for up to 48 hours, but not exceeding 72 total hours in a 30-day period.
“The new changes enhance the use of the Selkirk Water for recreation, prohibit residential use and the storage of vessels, and address the negative impacts that unregulated marine activities are having on the marine environment and Victoria residents.” The City of Victoria stated in a press release.
On Wednesday, October 26, dive crews from Jenkins Marine began work salvaging the two sunken derelict boats. Once re-floated the vessels will be towed to James Bay Anglers boat ramp and then hauled out by Don’s Boat Transport, where they will most likely turned to scrap metal, workers tell Victoria Buzz.
— Victoria Buzz (@victoriabuzzes) October 26, 2016
If owners don’t voluntarily vacate the area, however, the City will begin enforcement to remove them and seek an injunction if necessary.
According to CFAX on Wednesday afternoon, boaters still living on the waterway met with Pacifica Housing for advice. Those that can relocate to a marina are encouraged to do so, any vessels left unoccupied are expected to be dealt with by the City over the coming weeks.
Aside from being considered an eyesore by many, bio-hazards from lack of sanitation services in the area are a risk. There have also been concerns about leaking oil and fuel, as well as noise complaints.
Signage has been posted at the entrance of the Gorge Waterway informing boaters of the limited anchoring use, and City Bylaw officers will continue to monitor the area.