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Several abandoned vessels that have been lying in Cape Breton waters for years will soon be gone.
They are part of 14 across the province that will be removed as part of funding that Nova Scotia Lands has received from the federal government’s Abandoned Boats Program.
Nova Scotia Lands worked with the province’s Department of Lands and Forestry to identify vessels to be removed and a proposal was subsequently submitted to the federal government.
The craft in Cape Breton are in Margaree Harbour, Inverness County; Mira River; and Lennox Passage, Richmond County.
The removal of all 14 vessels, which includes commercial and private craft, began in January 2021 and will continue throughout the rest of the year.
The vessel in the Mira River has already been removed and the others will be gone later this year.
“The boat was not impeding any traffic on the Mira River,” said District 7 councillor Steve Parsons of the vessel there. “They’re all environmental concerns, so I guess that’s why [Nova Scotia Lands is] cleaning it up.”
The vessel in Margaree Harbour is a wood commercial fishing vessel that has been there “for some time,” according to Nova Scotia Lands communications strategist Trish Smith.
The Mira River vessel was a fibreglass recreational vessel and those in Lennox Passage are fibreglass and wood commercial fishing vessels, according to Smith.
“We were very happy to receive the funding from the Abandoned Boats Program to do this work and clean up vessels around Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Lands president Stephen MacIsaac in a media release. “This work will stop the environmental impacts these abandoned vessels have on the shoreline and communities.”
Jessica Smith is a climate change/environmental and natural resources reporter with the Cape Breton Post.