The boats stored along the shoreline in Mansons Landing Provincial Park have been given a reprieve.
For the 15 most derelict vessels, this means another 30 days before they are removed by BC Parks. Cortes Currents followed three Park Rangers down the beach to watch them tag their first vessel, a fibreglass dinghy with holes torn out of its bottom. Another derelict vessel was being used as the roof of a crude shelter in the trees.
There were a total of 57 boats in the park when the rangers arrived last month. Some have since been removed, but there are still a considerable number on the beach. Most of them look seaworthy. At some point in the near future, albeit measured in years rather than days, they must all be removed.
“Some of these boats have been identified as unseaworthy and these will be the focus of Phase 1 of our boat storage project. We want to remove these boats before winter storms create debris along the beach. If you store your boat at Mansons, we want to hear from you about your boat, how you use it and any thoughts or ideas you have about how to meet the community’s needs around boat storage at Mansons, while protecting the coastal sands ecosystem,” explained Eli Simcoe Metcalfe of BC Parks.
Half a dozen community members had a long but amiable conversation with the rangers in the parking lot. It was immediately apprarent that this was a complex issue that may take years to fully resolve.
Someone pointed out that some of the neighbouring summer homes were only accessible by water and their owners had been leaving their boats on the beach. This brought up another problem. They are not allowed to leave their vehicles in the parking lot overnight.
What are the boundaries of the park?
Mike Manson, a retired surveyor and descendant of the family that once owned the park, brought a map depicting the Ministry of Transportation land. He and the Rangers proceeded to plot out its dimensions.
Another question is how does the dock at Mansons Landing fit into this discussion.
Harbourmaster Jenny Hartwick explained the dock’s future is tentative at this point.
“The mandate of small craft harbours is to support the commercial fishing industry across Canada. It owns, operates and maintains harbours that it considers core to the commercial fishing and agriculture industry. So any facilities that it does not consider core are then considered for divestiture. In the case of the Manson’s dock, it is on the 10 year divestiture list, which means that within the next 10 years, it is possible that it may be considered for divestiture.”
The larger question was whether it will be possible to find a place for the boats outside of the park but close to the water. A couple of ideas were discussed, but nothing definite settled upon.
Top image credit: One of the more derelict boat was converted into a crude shelter – Photo by Roy L Hales
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