“If you work hard at keeping your marina clean, green and safe, your boaters will too. There is absolutely nothing to match the effect of leading by example” according to Hub Steenbakkers, the proprietor of Collins Bay Marina in Kingston, Ontario. “It is more than setting or enforcing rules, it is all about educating boaters in the critical role they play in maintaining the environment and setting expectations that become the social norm for behaviour.”
At Collins Bay Marina, caring for the environment is an essential part of their business.
In many sectors there’s a developing interest in all things environmental and the boating community is no exception. Boaters are taking more of an interest to what is happening in their cruising areas – and in “Beautiful British Columbia” there is much current interest.
High on the list is the new pollution prevention regulation under the Canada Shipping Act. The regulation caused a serious uproar before it was made into law, as it seemed to be drafted with big ships in mind rather than small vessels – and because the bureaucrats in Ottawa appeared to have ignored some major recommendations of the west coast work group.
Anyone who has ever sailed the waters of Georgian Bay is familiar with the iconic trees that line the shore and dot the islands. Sculpted by the prevailing west winds, they stand arched and graceful yet still solid and defiant and in their struggle with the harsh climate and sparse soil scattered amidst the prehistoric granite of the Canadian Shield.
The Georgian Bay Land Trust (GBLT) was founded in 1997 to help preserve not only the famed trees of Georgian Bay but also the entire ecology of the unique archipelago that makes up the Eastern Channel and North Shore.
Well it’s spring and time to organize most people’s least favourite spring outfitting job. Time to get the bottom painted. These days, when it comes to antifouling paints, we need to consider not just the cost to ourselves, but also the cost to the environment. With a little education, boaters can make both a green and a cost-effective decision for their antifouling paint.
First, a little history. From early days, copper in various forms, from copper sheathing to cuprous oxide in paint was the best available biocide for antifouling. Remember TBT (tributyltin).
Ahhh… The snows have melted (mostly) and spring is in the air. That means it’s time to think about commissioning and getting our boats ready for another summer on the water. Not surprisingly most of us have a bit of work to do on our boats so now is the perfect opportunity to look at cleaning up our act, so to speak.
With interest in all things environmental sweeping the globe, it’s worth thinking about how we can get our boats ready to go and do our part to keep our waters, and ourselves, healthy.
I Have Seen The Future!
Dressed in eyecatching graphics, Mercury's Hybrid Concept Vessel was a Miami International Boat Show highlight last February – but a quiet one. Equipped with both Cummins QSC 550, 550-hp diesel engines and Zeus pod drives plus high-efficiency electric engines, solar panels, full SmartCraft controls including joystick docking, the Mercury's Hybrid Concept Vessel glided out of its slip like it was drifting in the wind, making virtually no sound, no smoke and no smell.
There are winners and there are losers and sometimes there’s just mud. Which to an environmentalist might be okay, if it means healthy wetlands, but to a boater mud spells disaster.
Welcome to the contentious Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River water levels issue that the International Joint Commission (IJC) is tackling. At first glance it seems, well…clear as mud. The commission is trying to balance the interests of municipal water supplies, hydro-electric power generation, environmentalists, commercial navigation, recreational boating and riparian (waterfront property owners) concerns.
Zebra muscles, lampreys, fertilizer runoff, chemicals, low water levels. The list of challenges facing the Great Lakes is a long and worrisome one. Many thousands of people depend on the health of the lakes for their livelihood and many millions are directly affected by their condition. Now the Great Lakes may be on the verge of playing host to some new and unwelcome guests. The Asian Carp are on the move and a lot of people are very worried indeed. Although the carp’s jumping antics have made it a You Tube star, it is their voracious appetite and efficient breeding that have many environmentalists, fishermen and recreational industry experts fearing the worst. That the Asian Carp represent a threat to the lakes is not in dispute, but just how much of a threat and what to do about it, is hotly contested.
It’s an old joke; you can’t take it with you but when it comes to gasoline and your boat, there is a concern that some people already have to take it with them - to their dinghy, their fishing boat, their summer place, wherever you need fuel on the water, but where no one is selling it.
The media is currently buzzing about most provinces experiencing gasoline prices at the city and highway pumps in the $1.35 to $1.40 range and speculation is that this may rise as the summer progresses.
Lots of Stakeholders in Lake Water Levels
In recent years low water levels on the Great Lakes have boaters and waterfront property owners looking for answers. North America’s Great Lakes hold about 18% of all the surface fresh water on earth and the Great Lakes Basin is home to some 40 million people. From these facts you can be certain of two things: 1) What happens to the lakes is incredibly important and 2) figuring out exactly what is happening to them is incredibly complicated. The 774,000 square kilometers of the Great Lakes Basin includes parts of eight US states and Canada’s largest province, ensuring that lots of different governments, agencies, and interest groups, all want to have their say.