British Columbia

Deep Cove residents concerned about impact of long-term 'live-aboards'

Some District of North Vancouver residents count Deep Cove Bay among troubled waters, on account of persistent issues with "live-aboards," abandoned boats, environmental and dock issues, and garbage.

MP Terry Beech held meeting following complaints of dilapidated boats, dumped sewage, illegal mooring

Deep Cove residents say they're concerned about boaters anchoring in the cove long-term. (Cory Correia/CBC)

Some District of North Vancouver residents count Deep Cove Bay among troubled waters, on account of persistent issues with "live-aboards," abandoned boats, environmental and dock issues, and garbage. 

Burnaby North-Seymour MP Terry Beech hosted a town hall meeting Monday evening in response to complaints from locals about the issues around the bay.

Dozens of residents and boaters filled the library of Seycove Secondary School to voice their opinions on the boating issues in their backyard, looking for answers about rules and regulations that govern mooring in the cove.

Al Floyd said he's worried about live-aboards — people who make a boat their primary residence — who dump their sewage into the water in which his grandkids swim.

Al Floyd says he's worried about boats mooring long term because of the possibility of sewage being discharged into the waters where his grandchildren often swim.

"There are no pump-out facilities that I'm aware of and that's one thing I'd like to find out — if there are, or if any are going to be installed around the cove area, so people can in fact empty their holding tanks legitimately," he said.

"It is a swimming area. You know the beaches have been closed in years past because of high fecal count, so that's a concern."

Boats are legally allowed to drop anchor in Deep Cove for an indeterminate amount of time. (Cory Correia/CBC)

The majority of attendees expressed similar concerns about pollution in the water, limited enforcement of regulations, dilapidated vessels in the harbour and illegal moorages. 

Beech said he thinks there are likely more people living nearby who have the same queries.

"We know that if there are people making their way to our office, that there's probably a lot more people in the community that have either concerns or questions," said Beech.

Deep Cove is an extremely popular destination in the summer. (Cory Correia/CBC)

Grant Drummond lives on his boat and also went to the meeting, hoping to represent his community.

"Sometimes there might be this misconception about people who choose the live-aboard lifestyle," he said. "I work full-time and make a very good living and this is a choice that I've made because it's a lifestyle I'm very passionate about."

Drummond said there are a few troublemakers who break the rules by dumping sewage or throwing junk overboard, but that most people who "live the boating lifestyle ... are not in that one per cent."

Grant Drummond lives on his boat and spends his summers anchored in Deep Cove. He said there are a lot of misconceptions about the kind of people who live on their boats. (Cory Correia/CBC)

It's illegal to dump sewage from boats within three nautical miles of shore under federal law. The closest public pump-out station to Deep Cove is near the Lions Gate Bridge.

Boats are legally allowed to drop anchor in Deep Cove for an indeterminate amount of time.

With files from Cory Correia

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