Boaters Always Get The Blame

July 5, 2008

Right up front, I will admit some bias, because I live in False Creek, on my boat.

But this news article ticked me off. Taryn Scollard automatically leaps up and points the finger at boaters causing high coliform levels in the Creek. When I read this, I just wanted to call "Bullsh*t!". First off, 90% of the boats in the Creek at the moment sit at marinas with holding tank pump-out facilities. Since I live aboard, my own boat is required to be hooked up to the city's sewage system at all times, and it is. So are all my neighbours'. I'd guesstimate that another 75-95% of the transient boaters anchored in the Creek make use of their holding tanks. Most boaters I know are good citizens that way. And there aren't more than a couple of dozen boats anchored out at the moment.

When you look at the coliform counts listed, it just doesn't make sense. Especially since the new law went in that reduced the number of semi-permanently anchored boats in the Creek. I've been commuting to work along the seawall for years and I used to be able to recognize boats that had been anchored out for over 3 years, that never moved (so you know those people were dumping illegally, and it's good that they're out of the picture). But the squatters are gone, and the sheer number of boats anchored out has dropped by at least half. So to list a coliform count that's higher than any in the last few years and then blame it on boaters is illogical. Shame on News1130 for not following up on a few facts. Scollard's comments are just anti-boating bias not backed up by any facts.

On reading the article, my initial suspicion was a broken sewer main near the new Olympic Village construction, or something of the sort. And today, I am vindicated.

I'm tired of boaters taking the blame for the City's sewage problems. Most boaters are responsible people, and I'd wager the average liveaboard leaves a much smaller environmental footprint on the planet than most people at City Hall who complain about boaters do.

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