Anchorage proposal angers Gabriola Island residents

NANAIMO – Proposal could see freighters anchoring in island waters.

Residents of Gabriola Island are voicing opposition to a proposal that could see freighters anchoring in island waters.

Gabriola Anchor Rage, a grassroots movement, has sprung up in response to a Pacific Pilotage Authority of Canada plan that aims to establish anchorage sites for five capesize vessels, 300 metres long, off the northeastern shore of the island.

Heather Nicholas, Gabriola trustee and Anchor Rage liaison for Islands Trust, said it is inappropriate to anchor ships a quarter of kilometre long so close to Gabriola’s shores. She has numerous concerns, including potential for serious environmental impact.

“There’s the impact on the seabed, because these are not small anchors or small chains and so anything that’s put down is going to be devastating. Having these chains scraping along the sea floor and so on is going to be devastating to habitat, to anything living down there.

“There’s a lot of species that rely on our marine floor and our marine waters and they’ll be all be put at risk,” said Nicholas.

Additionally, she said there are noise, light and pollution concerns for people residing in that immediate vicinity.

Kevin Obermeyer, pilotage authority CEO, pointed out that this is still a proposal. He said the process has taken about three years and areas in Delta and Galiano Island were examined.

“We looked at the whole area. For the most part, this coast of ours is not conducive to anchoring ships. It’s got a rock bottom or it’s very, very steep. So if you anchored the ship, you’re going to be so close to the land that it would be unsafe, so we don’t have a lot of options.

“Believe me, we went through this until the only one that made sense, unfortunately, was Gabriola,” said Obermeyer.

Vessels anchoring would be mostly bulk carriers – no oil tankers – and most would be empty, awaiting cargo mainly in the Vancouver port, Obermeyer said. Nanaimo has its own anchorages and it is unlikely any of the ships would load in the Harbour City.

The authority is conducting an environmental review and anticipates holding public consultation in early 2016, said Obermeyer.

Just Posted

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read