Minister Garneau launches a new call for proposals for abandoned boats projects through Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan

News release

July 28, 2020      Ottawa      Transport Canada

Abandoned or wrecked vessels pose an environmental, social and economic hazard in communities across Canada. They can pollute the marine environment, harm local businesses such as tourism and fisheries, damage infrastructure, interfere with navigation, and pose safety risks to Canadians.That is why the Government of Canada, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is working diligently to deter this irresponsible practice and to clean up vessels of immediate concern.

Through Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program, the Government of Canada is helping to remove abandoned boats, educate boat owners about their responsibilities and support research into improving recycling options. Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, launched the fifth call for proposals for assessment and removal projects to be funded through the Abandoned Boats Program under the Oceans Protection Plan. Up to $1.6 million is available this year to help assess, remove or dispose of abandoned and wrecked small boats that pose a hazard in Canadian waters. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2022.

In light of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, funding recipients will be reimbursed 100% for eligible expenditures for boat removals, rather than the 75% in previous years. Eligible recipients include provinces, territories, municipalities and local governments; Indigenous groups, communities, and organizations; private ports or marinas; Canadian Port Authorities; and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.


“Our Government is committed to protecting our coasts and waterways and ensuring that our oceans remain healthy for future generations. Through initiatives like the Abandoned Boats Program, we are educating Canadians about the hazards abandoned and wrecked boats pose for coastal communities, while protecting our coasts and marine species more than they have ever been.”

Minister of Transport,
The Honourable Marc Garneau

“Abandoned and wrecked vessels pose serious threats to our oceans and shorelines. Removing them safely from Canadian waters has been a major priority of mine not only as a Member of Parliament, but as a coastal Canadian. Under the Oceans Protection Plan, we’ve created the Abandoned Boats Program to support Canadians who want to remove old vessels from their communities. We all share in the vision of a clean, healthy ocean, and through the Oceans Protection Plan, we're partnering with innovative Canadians from coast to coast to coast who are making this vision a reality.”

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan

Quick facts

  • Since the Oceans Protection Plan started in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.

  • Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. Since May 31, 2017, the program has launched four calls for proposals for projects to be funded through grants and contributions.

  • To date, funding has been approved to assess 109 boat removal projects for a total of $376,010, and to remove 112 boats for a total of $2,936,727.

  • The program helps to educate small boat owners about how to responsibly manage their boats. It also supports research on boat recycling and environmentally responsible boat design.

  • Transport Canada will accept applications until the $1.6 million available for 2020-2021 projects has been allocated.

Associated links


Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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