Construction has begun on a new 10,800 square foot Coast Guard facility in Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
The new construction, an environmental response depot, is intended to support and improve the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to marine pollution incidents around northern Vancouver Island and the central B.C. coast.
“A crucial part of protecting Canada’s oceans is ensuring that we can respond to environmental emergencies quickly and effectively,” federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
“The Pacific coastline is home to some of Canada’s richest ecosystems and most beautiful landscapes, and we are going to protect it for generations to come.”
The new facility will provide office space, storage space, and a large drive-on floating dock for easy loading of pollution response vessels and other Coast Guard ships.
Three specially trained environmental response staff will manage the depot. Currently, emergency staff are working out of a temporary facility in Port Hardy.
The town of Port Hardy and the Kwakiutl First Nation are partnering with the Canadian Coast Guard on the project.
In a statement, the Coast Guard said they have responded to 38 marine pollution incidents in the Port Hardy area.
New equipment at the depot will include:
- Pollution Response Vessels (PRVs)
- Aqua Guard Triton 60 Skimmers
- 5000 ft of curtain boom
- Storage barges for recovered oil
- A Mobile Incident Command Post, and
- Offshore response equipment
The project is being funded by Canada’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, launched in 2016 by the Trudeau government.
Construction costs are pegged at $8.8 million, with an estimated completion in fall 2021.