North and West Vancouver boat clubs are newest to eco-boating program

Burrard Yacht Club’s eagle platform. Image by Chris-Boulsbee

North Vancouver’s Burrard Yacht Club and West Vancouver’s Hollyburn Sailing Club are the newest certified members of Clean Marine BC, Georgia Strait Alliance’s eco-certification program that supports recreational boating facilities to reduce the impact of their operations on Burrard Inlet, the Salish Sea and beyond. 

Clean Marine BC works with boating facilities to implement and improve environmental best practices for marinas, boat yards, yacht and sailing clubs, fuel docks and harbour authorities, and recognizes them for these efforts. Many of these improvements are operational, with benefits that are good for their business, the marine ecosystem, and are also beneficial to boaters. Examples of best practices that the program recommends include the reduction and containment of toxins, collection and disposal of various wastes, water and energy conservation, emergency preparedness, and habitat protection.

CleanMarine BC is run by the non-profit Georgia Strait Alliance, which is the only conservation group focussed solely on protecting and restoring the marine environment and promoting the sustainability of the Canadian waters of the Salish Sea, its adjoining waters and communities.

Highlights of Burrard Yacht Club’s independent certification include:

  • All dock and breakwater foam flotation has been replaced or encapsulated, and replacement of toxic creosote pilings for docks is underway;
  • Spill protection kits are visible and well placed for easy access in case of a spill;
  • Hazardous waste is collected and appropriately stored and its disposal is contracted;
  • A SeaBin will soon be installed to catch and remove marine debris from the ocean;
  • A platform for eagles was built when a tree that the birds used to nest was taken down as part of a neighbouring development project.

Kathy Gregson, Commodore at Burrard Yacht Club, says; “Our Club and members have made significant commitments to environmental protection, and getting involved in Clean Marine BC has certainly helped us to identify the outstanding impacts that the club is having on the marine environment and assess ways to mitigate them.”

Mike Bretner. Image by Hollyburn Sailing Club

Cameron Burrows, Commodore at Hollyburn Sailing Club says; “We’re a Club that focuses on non-motorized water sports and getting people out on the water, and we wanted to partner with CleanMarine BC and Georgia Strait Alliance to help us identify additional areas where we can further reduce our impact on marine life and the marine environment.” 

At Hollyburn Sailing Club, certification highlights include:

  • Education is provided to members who perform work on their vessels, with proper precautions and best practices in place to avoid the release of toxins, prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and it includes recycling of old sails; 
  • Property maintenance is done without the use of toxic chemicals;
  • Wildlife-friendly pest prevention measures are utilized, and bird houses have been installed on the building;  
  • The Club is very active in the community, including providing safety boats and the use of its facilities for community events, and participating in local beach cleanups; and
  • A quick turnaround of one-month from program enrollment to certification due to  the Club’s commitment to environmental responsibility, stewardship and its already low-carbon footprint.

“Over 1,200 species call Burrard Inlet home, including orcas and all seven species of salmon,” says Georgia Strait Alliance’s Executive Director Christianne Wilhelmson. “Given the level of development and human activity on Burrard Inlet, the significance of the commitment of Burrard Yacht Club and Hollyburn Sailing Club in becoming Clean Marine BC certified cannot be overstated.” 


About the Clean Marine BC program
Clean Marine BC is a voluntary eco-certification program that recognizes marinas and other boating facilities for environmental best practices, and assists them in making improvements to minimize the impacts of recreational boating. There are now 35 Clean Marine BC certified marina, yacht club, boatyard and harbour authority facilities, and another 31 facilities have adopted the Clean Marine BC policy and are working towards certification:

About Burrard Yacht Club
Burrard Yacht Club is located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. We are an active club consisting of power and sailing vessels mainly 25 to 60 feet in length. Approximately 300 members enjoy secure moorage, social activities, community service, product discounts, vessel insurance policy, group boating activities, and reciprocal moorage privileges: 

About Hollyburn Sailing Club
Hollyburn Sailing Club (HSC) began operation in 1963 with the main objective of training North Shore children in seamanship. With the blessing of the District and the West Vancouver Parks and Recreation Commission, the HSC has operated out of Ambleside Park for nearly 60 years, training over 12,000 individuals. Our training programs have expanded to include adult sailing lessons and race team training. Hollyburn sailors have achieved Olympic status, competed in numerous World Championships and raced in the America’s Cup:

About Georgia Strait Alliance
Formed in 1990, Georgia Strait Alliance is the only conservation group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of the Canadian waters of the Salish Sea, its adjoining waters and communities: