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Some of this years participants in the Gorge Harbour Cleanup
General News · 13th April 2015
Amanda Glickman
Report on the current state of Gorge Harbour and the Sixth Annual Clean Up

April 12 was yet another successful harbour cleanup! Thanks to all who participated. We note that this year’s barbeque was sponsored by Island Sea Farms - thank you!

Over the past 6 years that we’ve been doing these cleanups, we’ve seen a steady improvement and have gone from collecting a full barge load (the barge is 38’ long for those who don’t know) to about 1/3 of a barge. A few common items we collect every year include Styrofoam (in the forms of bits and blocks or billets) and loads of green nylon line. This year’s highlights included piles of old oyster seed tubes, four large Styrofoam billets and a small model boat. It’s always amazing to see what we find!

A big concern this year was the number of floats anchored in the harbour, many with long trailing lines. These lines clearly connect to something deep down below, but the floating lines (often polypropylene) present a hazard to boaters (recreational and otherwise). If you own one of these markers or moorings, PLEASE weight the extra line down with something (chain, lead weight, or similar) to prevent a dangerous hazard to navigation. As a reminder, owners of these markers and moorings are liable for the damages that their structures create. Also, some of the floats are obscure. When creating moorings or marker floats, please chose something visible. Black doesn’t work!! SOLAS reflective tape or reflectors are greatly appreciated for nighttime navigation.

Boats on moorings… We usually pull at least one boat off of the rocks each winter. This year we pulled off two. PLEASE make sure that your moorings are inspected (we have at least three commercial divers on the island) and that your lines are checked regularly for tangle and chafe. If you’re not on the island, please ask a friend to check for you. We’re grateful to have willing people who volunteer to come out and help secure these vessels when they break free or run aground, but the last thing we want is to make this a full time occupation. Worse yet, many vessels carry fuel and oil; we don’t want to have a hazardous spill. Please be aware that the costs of environmental cleanup and salvage can amount to tens of thousands of dollars and is the responsibility of the boat owner. With the recreational boating season coming up, it would be terrific if boats on moorings could have some kind of reflective tape or solar lighting so that night time boaters can avoid them.

Thanks again for everyone’s cooperation to ensure a clean, safe harbour for all to enjoy!
Please clean up these extra long mooring and marker lines!
Please clean up these extra long mooring and marker lines!