Sproat Lake Marine Patrol

2014 ELECTION – The Sproat Lake Marine Patrol Service Referendum

“Are you in favor of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District enacting bylaw 1057 to provide the following:

Establish the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol Service for the purpose of providing a seasonal marine patrol program at Sproat Lake with the following areas participating in the service: City of Port Alberni, Uchucklesaht Tribe Government, Electoral Areas “B” (Beaufort), “D” (Sproat Lake), “E” (Beaver Creek), “F” (Cherry Creek); and
Annually requisition the service area up to a maximum of $30,000 or $00.0101 per $1000 of taxable value of land and improvements, whichever is greater? YES/NO

General Voting day is Saturday, November 15th, 2014 – 8 are -8 pm.

Advance Voting is Wednesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 – 8 am- 8 pm at the ACRD office, 3008 – 5th Ave. Port Alberni.

About the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol

The Sproat Lake Marine Patrol offers boating safety education to local schools and assisting boaters on beautiful Sproat Lake and so much more. Their presence on the lake keeps boaters aware and is greatly appreciated by the residents and users of Sproat Lake. The crew has formed many alliances around the community of Port Alberni, which helps to expand and strengthen the program and our efforts to keep the lake safe and clean. The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, the Sproat Lake Fire Department, Public Works, Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the RCMP, BC Parks, and Transport Canada sponsor the marine patrol.

The Sproat Lake Marine Patrol Program began in 2002 and operated for the months of July and August. Starting in 2010, with funding from Transport Canada, Office of Boating Safety, we have been able to expand the program to include the months of May and June when the SLMP visit local schools and present boating safety awareness to students. They also attend community “Home Town Events”.

This spring the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District was again successful in
Receiving funding from Transport Canada for the next 3 years. This will enable us to continue with the boating safety education program, which ran late late May 2014 at local schools.

“There were a total of 1,120 powerboat drowning’s in Canada during 1991-2000”

“Males 15 years and older accounted for 90% of powerboat drowning”.
“Every year, 200 Canadians drown while boating. Of those who drown, 90% are not properly wearing their lifejacket” (source unknown)

For July and August the Marine Patrol was based at the Sproat Lake Provincial Park boat launch where they assisted boaters launching their boats, and patrolling on the water. The Marine Patrol offers a ‘Life Jacket Loaner Station’ at the boat launch as well as information about Sproat Lake.

The Marine Patrol are committed to the promotion of safety in all areas of water activity, including recreational boating, and carrying out courtesy vessel examinations. They install and maintain buoys around the swimming only areas at Sproat Lake Provincial Park, as well as patrol “swimming only” areas for motorized and non-motorized vessels.

Patrolling the lake is another service they provide. On the water they do daily counts of boats using the lake, watch over the fires the campers have going on the beaches, assist boaters in distress, remove and tag logs and debris that are floating in the water that may be come hazardous to boaters, and make a presence to reduce any illegal activity on the lake.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is very proud of the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol program, its a great opportunity to teach more about boating safety and make sure boaters are properly equipped to head out on the water.

In the community SLMP is seen as a valuable program, which has benefits to all the Valley residents and Sproat Lake visitors since 2002. Financially the ACRD has received grants from Transport Canada for the past 3 years and have secured a grant for 3 years starting 2014 to 2016 for the majority of the cost of the program requiring very little funding realized by the taxpayers. This year there was zero taxation; next year zero taxation and 2016 will be only $7500 for the whole Alberni Valley.

The SLMP program reaches local youth through school programs, education and assistance to the community at large, provides life jackets loaners, assists in providing a positive experience for locals and visitors alike through this exceptional program.

The information gathered each season is used to follow water quality conditions, invasive species, tourism info, interface fire prevention, water safety initiatives, assistance in emergencies and much more. Hiring local Alberni Valley students is investing in all our future. The ACRD has received very positive reports and letters of support from the community for the SLMP.

The Sproat Lake Marine Patrol will also:

Provide information and advice to the public about:
Boating regulations;
Water safety;
Rules of boating etiquette;
Navigational hazards;
Amenities and features of Sproat Lake and general tourist information.
Patrol the lake to:
Observe and report dangerous watercraft operation;
Offer assistance that is compatible with the qualifications of the employee;
Observe on-shore activities. Record and report activities or incidents of concern.
Maintain patrol boat and other equipment and other facilities.
Collect and record water clarity and temperature at predetermined locations

Sponsored by Penny Cote