Feb 03

“The right boat in the right place”

 THE COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE NAVIGATION forewarns Boat Buyers: “The right boat in the right place”

January 26, 2017 – Several owners or future owners of boats will meet from February 2nd to 5th at the Salon du Bateau et du Sport nautique de Montréal.  The potential boat buyers will be dazzled by the new products offered by manufacturers which will creatively compete to entice boat enthusiasts with more and more powerful boats.

The COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE NAVIGATION is of the opinion that, before making a choice, the potential buyer should consider the water body on which she/he intends to navigate. Unlike relatively inert asphalt and / or cement roads, water bodies consist of living environments in which the boat owner navigates, typically, without being fully aware of the adverse effects of certain types of boating activities. The navigation-related environmental impacts on these ecosystems  varies depending on the depth of the water body, the distance from the shore, the type of boat, the speed, etc.

Currently, the enthusiasm for large boats such as “wakeboats” and “surfboats” have reached an all-time high. These pleasure craft, when their ballasts are in use, 1) create huge waves that erode shorelines and 2) the water columns behind these boats churn up and suspend bottom sediments that in turn release hidden nutrients in the process. The huge waves impact on shoreline sediments as well. These sediments impacts are often the origin of blue-green algae and the proliferation of undesirable aquatic plants.  Furthermore, when these pleasure crafts operate in shallow water bodies, they have a devastating effect on the quality of the water, entailing turbidity and often the infestation of aquatic plants, thus less conducive to swimming and navigation. In addition the result too frequently includes destroying of the spawning grounds of fish. These phenomena contribute to the premature aging of these water bodies.

Accordingly, the COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE NAVIGATION financed with its partners two scientific studies on the impacts of “wakeboat” type boats. These studies, available at http://coalitionnavigation.ca/projects/research-projects-to-date , demonstrate that such a pleasure craft must travel at least 300 meters from the shoreline and at a depth of at least 5 meters to minimize its impact on the water body’s ecosystem.  To complete the portrait of the impacts of various pleasure craft, the Coalition will be undertaking new studies in this regard.

Quebec’s water bodies constitute an exceptional natural heritage. They deserve our collective care. Given the increasing number of boats that are too powerful for water bodies, many local associations are mobilizing to better control the navigation of such boats on their waterways while being concerned about the proliferation of these boats on our waters. Many have adopted codes of ethics that are unfortunately often difficult to apply.

For the moment, the laws do not adequately protect our water bodies from the devastating impacts caused by these boats. The COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE NAVIGATION, whose objective is “The right boat in the right place”, invites owners and future owners to

(1) Be cautious before acquiring a boat that might be inappropriate for the water body where they want to do their boating;

(2) Find out more about the bathymetry (depth) of the water body;

(3) Find out about the impact of such a craft on ecosystems;

(4) Involve themselves in their association of local residents, where appropriate, to contribute to the protection of their water bodies;

(5) Visit http://coalitionnavigation.ca/  for more information.

 

Source : Denise Cloutier, Administrator, plumeart@gmail.com

Coalition for Responsible and sustainable navigation – 514-943-4327