Keeping our waterways clean

We work closely with other agencies to help keep our waterways clean. Ships calling at the Port of Vancouver are required to comply with the port authority’s environmental requirements, which are outlined in the Port Information Guide.

For example, ship operators are required to meet protocols for disposing of garbage and are restricted from disposing of black and grey water in our waters. When operationally possible, our marine operations team will board ships calling at the Port of Vancouver to inform the ship’s officers and crew of our environmental policies and other rules and procedures.

The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for pollution spill response as per the National Spill Preparedness and Response Protocol. For more information on spill response, see our frequently asked questions section.

Spotlight: cleaning up municipal waterways and shipping channels

Neglected boats and structures in a narrow waterway such as the Fraser River can affect water quality through the release of toxic chemicals from fuel, oil and paint. They can also pose a risk to sensitive marine environments, fish and wildlife, or public safety. In 2019, we completed a $2 million, five-year program that cleaned up nearly 150 sites along the Fraser River that were an environmental or navigational hazard and impacted local quality of life. Learn more about the Fraser River Improvement Initiative.