Last year just before our 2014 AGM we asked our members to give some feedback on how the BCNRA is doing. Here are some of the answers we got back and thank you to those who contributed!
Q: What do you believe to be the biggest challenges for marine communities in your area or on the BC coast?:
A: As far as in my area, the shortage of live aboard spaces and misunderstanding of our community.
A: Expensive land to support water based activities.
A: Pollution. Fitting into the neighborhood and community. (being a responsible citizen)
A: There are not enough of them to live in and getting fewer.
A: NIMBYism. Somehow, nautical residents and their land-based neighbours need to come to a better understanding of one another’s needs and issues.
A: For livaboards it is sanctioned moorage and sewage collection.
A: The intent of harbour authority to cleanse our harbours and national public port system of boatdwellers
A: Finding suitable marinas to live aboard.
A: Costs for moorage including live a board fees continually increasing. It appears that less and less young people are coming into this lifestyle of living aboard/cruising as those of us who are older are moving off our boats. I’m sad to see this way of life diminish and think it is partly due to how expensive moorage has become.
Also, poorly maintained or derelict boats left at anchor or on moorings through winter weather systems and left for those of us at the marina to deal with when they become a hazard. This of course is not new.
A: Biggest challenge is how resistant the various marina’s and government are to allow live aboard status. In our area (Gibsons BC) there are some live aboards, but no new ones, and as old ones leave they aren’t being replaced by new. We’re in a phase out period. I think development is an issue. I don’t know if i have all the facts, but my perception and limited knowledge is that we are getting pressure from our marina not to live aboard as they are feeling pressure from the government
A: Increased costs and regulations for live aboard boatersmaking it more restrictive and expensive to continue the lifestyle.
A: I would say for my area Gulf Islands/Victoria – lack of sewage pump out facilities, unregulated moorings, lack of community support for marine communities, specifically in the Gulf Islands and Northern communities. I also believe there is a challenge with the image of liveaboards and the mixing up of responsible boaters and marine residents with the small number of those who choose to be irresponsible.
A: Moorage, whether at Marina or on a mooring. It must be safe secure and affordable.
A: Acceptance, expansion, growth, new communities. Changing public/marina owner/municipality outlook towards live aboard communities.
A: Lack of live aboard berthage. Too many moorings with no boats on them…privatizing of anchorages
Q: In the last few years have you noticed any positive changes in marine communities?:
A: On Salt Spring changes have been negative.
A: New positives??? Old positives remain in that there is a diverse community on the water that are bound by the realities of nature and a shared experiences related to that reality. I am not sure many if any significant positives have arisen.
A: We just moved to Westbay last year and moved aboard. This is a real jem of live a board community. We feel very blessed.
A: Not very many. NIMBYism seems rampant, e.g., Maple Bay.
There have been some positive draft changes to the bylaws in Area D of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (Cowichan Bay), and some positive interactions in Oak Bay between the BCNRA and local authorities re dinghies and anchored liveaboards.
A: Yes New Westminster is civilized I’m not under immanent threat of deportation from my home town
A: Previously at Pier 32 in Vancouver….now at Spruce Harbour (Greater Vancouver Live Aboard Co-op), so a much more secure live aboard community.
A: Our marina has been improving over the last number of years which creates a pleasant environment but again is reflected in the increase costs.
A: Not in terms of live aboards, no.
A: I believe there has been some recognition from non-marine residents that there are responsible marine residents and that this lifestyle is more common than most think. I also like the initiative and attitude of some liveaboards who want to make a difference on the coast. I also appreciate that the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has made some moves in the right direction in updating zoning and ensuring that marine residents legally have a place to be within the Victoria Harbour.
A: Yes. The BCNR was organized. Victoria legalized the float homes at Fishermans wharf. Live aboard boats to follow soon?
A: I’m a mover, changing locations every few seasons for the last 20 years and think it has stayed pretty much status quo. With the exception of a relatively small percentage of dock spaces, live aboards are pretty much shunned.
A: More couples, More young people, Better hydro
Q: Are there any areas where you feel the BCNRA isn’t doing enough?:
A: I think the BCNRA is doing its best.
A: I think our Association could be more effective if we had local ‘reporters’ in each marine community or area, who could keep the Directors informed on issues and positive changes in their area. These ‘reporters’ could request assistance from the BCNRA as needed, and/or mobilize local nautical residents and their supporters to work on local issues.
The Board of Directors of the BCNRA is a small group of people; the BC coast is very large. The BCNRA needs to encourage our membership to be actively involved in the Association and in their local area.
A: Our national public port system has been devolved into feudalism. Once upon a time public access was a legal right. The intent to cleanse our national public port system of boatdwellers is genocide. See definition of genocide in the Canada criminal code.
A: I’d like to see more lists of possible places to live aboard, and perhaps some way we can work as a group (lobby?) to ensure the government doesn’t phase out live aboard status. (editor’s note: We are keeping a list here!)
A: I’d like to see the organization be a bit more vocal. Perhaps work towards shedding light on the good things about marine communities rather than letting the media focus on the bad. Maybe that’s in the form of more stories, publications or short videos. To work towards developing some tools for marine residents to use against those who are trying to eliminate this way of life. Work to involve our membership on some of the projects we wish to take on (because the Directors can’t do it by themselves).
A: presenting its case to local government for # 1
A: Tough sell it seems and where to direct energy? Awesome that you are here and making a presence/effort!
A: Maybe more education directed at Marina owners and regional districts and letting people know that it isn’t cool to reserve patches of water by dropping a buoy that you only intend on using periodically
Q: What else would you say to the directors of the BCNRA?:
A: Stay with the basics. Keep harbours available, work to save anchorages, stay in the game.
A: The BCNRA has made a real difference in resolving some issues. Let’s make a concerted effort to attract new members and identify ways to keep the members involved.
A: Anchor for your rights in false creek for Canada Day
A: Continue to promote live aboard communities through out the province.
A: You’re doing great, don’t give up. Share the work with keen members!
A: Focus on one or two issues each year, define goals and complete task.
A: Just a thought. A list of friendly docks toward liveaboards. Be very cool to see the difference between Puget Sound and the Georgia Basin!
A: Well done…..