A man with a friendly face, white hair and glasses, wearing a black suit and dark blue tie over a white dress shirt while seated at a desk, looks directly to unseen committee members to whom he is speaking.

SCSWA presentation to federal TIC Standing Committee

October 23, 2023 SCSWA presentation to SCTIC—Our South Coast Ship Watch Alliance [SCSWA] took part in presentations to the federal government’s Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities [SCTIC] as its members considered amendments to Bill C-33. SCSWA representative Bruce McConchie was invited to address the committee to bring attention to the issue of cargo ship anchoring in the Southern …

Feedback requested on Transport Canada survey

Urgent Call: Participate in Transport Canada Survey

Transport Canada has quietly placed a list of questions on their website about their proposal to give permission to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to manage the Southern Gulf Island Anchorages. The South Coast Ship Watch Alliance requests that you participate in the Transport Canada survey (link below) which closes on MAY 14, 2023. The Alliance’s position is that the …

Chemainus public beach in summer with people recreating in the ocean, a reef in the middle ground, and a freighter in the nearby background, photo submitted by Freighter Free Chemainus.

South Coast Ship Watch Alliance welcomes “Freighter Free Chemainus”

Another group of concerned citizens—Freighter Free Chemainus—is joining South Coast Ship Watch Alliance efforts to end the use of commercial freighter anchorages in the Southern Gulf Island waters.  Chemainus is a small town (population approximately 4000) on the east coast of Vancouver Island, located between Duncan and Nanaimo. There are 6 anchorages for large commercial freighters stretching along the shoreline …

Freighter off Thetis Island, BC

Anchored Ships Cause Significant Seafloor Damage

Recent seabed mapping published by the Geological Survey of Canada exposes extensive scarring at freighter anchorages in the Salish Sea such as this scouring in Plumper Sound, the body of water surrounded by Mayne, Saturna and the Pender Islands. This is only one of the areas within the Southern Gulf Islands and adjacent Vancouver Island used by the Port of …

Two freighters just off the east side of Ruxton and map of Rockfish Conservation Area boundaries around Ruxton and Pylades. Photo by Jane Hurlburt

South Coast Ship Watch Alliance welcomes “Ruxton Anchorage Watch”

We are pleased to announce that a new group of concerned citizens is joining us in our efforts to end the use of commercial freighter anchorages in the Southern Gulf Island waters.  Ruxton is one of the De Courcy Group of Islands in the Southern Gulf Islands and is located south-east of Nanaimo between Pylades and Stuart Channels. The boat-access-only …

Two freighters

Coastal community stakeholders seek firm targets from government to eliminate Southern Gulf Islands Industrial Anchorages

The South Coast Ship Watch Alliance has concerns regarding a recent Transport Canada pre-election announcement regarding marine vessel traffic management. The Alliance and other stakeholders have been seeking closure of the 33 anchorages in the Southern Gulf Islands that are a source of ongoing environmental degradation and human health concerns. The Alliance is a coalition of community groups from Cowichan Bay, Gabriola Island, …

Humpback whale tail

New Federal Budget 2021: What does it mean for Ocean Protection?

$17.6 billion was allocated to green recovery, including marine conservation.The federal government made a public commitment to protect 25% of Canada’sland and ocean by 2025, and lead globally to ensure 30% protection of the planet by2030. What does this mean for effective protection of the marine environment in the Southern Gulf Islands? Details have not been announced, but increased efforts …

Chris Straw and one of his photographs

In Memory of Chris Straw

Our South Coast Ship Watch Alliance has lost a most dedicated and passionate advocate in our efforts to protect this special place. Just a short month ago, Chris Straw died in a tragic construction accident on Gabriola Island, a place he loved. After a distinguished career at CBC Chris turned his talents to photography, capturing beautiful images of our coastlines …

Two freighters that collided

Investigation into freighter collision reveals ongoing dangers Southern Gulf Islands

The results from a Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation are in. On March 30, 2020 a 200 metre cargo ship dragged anchor in high winds and collided with another ship in Plumper Sound (between Mayne, Saturna and Pender Islands). The anchor chains from both ships became entangled. This account of how quickly things went from bad to worse is …

Alistair MacGregor / Freighter around Thetis Island BC

New bill would prohibit freighters from anchoring around Vancouver Island

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, has put forth a bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to prohibit the anchoring of freighter vessels using coastal waters along the Southern Strait of Georgia. “In the absence of leadership from the federal government, I have decided that it is time put forward a bill to try and resolve this issue through …

Drone footage of freighters around Thetis Island BC

New petition in the House of Commons

Paul Manly, the Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and member of Green Party of Canada has put forward this new Petition in the House of Commons calling on the government to: 1. Eliminate the 33 commercial anchorages throughout the Southern Gulf Islands; 2. Improve the grain supply chain and terminal infrastructure, and evaluate the transport of U.S. thermal coal through …

Updated: Nightmare continues in Plumper Sound

Here we go again. For people living close to the water on Pender, Mayne and Saturna Islands, it’s a recurring nightmare. The sheltered area, known as Plumper Sound, is a picturesque and ecologically rich body of water in the Southwest Corner of British Columbia.  Local residents were awakened before sunrise this morning, to the harsh sounds of metal grinding and …