WATCH: More than 40 volunteers gathered to clean up Cadboro Bay Beach Saturday but derelict boats remain. Isabelle Raghem reports.
It not the typical beach scenery: A tractor pulling a trailer, piled high with debris before dumping the load in a garbage bin.
The tractor was donated by the municipality of Oak Bay, as more than 40 volunteers joined the Cadboro Bay beach clean-up Saturday.
“We’re cleaning all the boats, getting them ready for step two which is when sea-tow pulls them out and brings them to the yacht club,” says Eric Dahli from the Cadboro Bay Residents Association.
But Dahli who spearheaded the clean-up says the boats, which were also meant to go this weekend, will stay put.
“This was suppose to be a one day project, however at the last moment the CRD changed their mind and gave us a bit of money rather than the whole amount that was asked for.”
The founder of the Veins of Life Watershed Society says the Capital Regional District cut their funding from a requested $14,000 to $4,000 — most of which will be used for the estimated $2,700 tipping fees at the district’s landfill.
“It’s not so much that the CRD didn’t award us the fund,” says John Roe, “it’s the timeline they gave us. They could have told us three or four weeks ago that we didn’t have the money and I would have raised it somewhere else […] It’s just unprofessional.”
In an email to Chek, the CRD says they have a maximum funding of $1,000 per event and the group is cleaning four beaches.
“We’re disappointed, but we won’t give up,” says Dahli.
Despite the determination of volunteers, many of them worry the problem will simply reappear when abandoned vessels floating in the bay, sink or wash away in a storm.
Organizers are optimistic the remaining $10,000 dollars needed to complete the project — and the derelict boats — will be raised by the end of the month.