UBC Graduate Research

At their disposal : Options for disposing untreated blackwater from boats in the Great Bear Sea Davis, Katy; Liu, Amy; Santo, Anna


The Great Bear Sea stretches along British Columbia's coast from Vancouver Island to the Alaska Border. Marine vessels passing through this area generate waste that can be harmful to aquatic life and humans, including sewage. This report explores the question: What is the feasibility of implementing a "No Discharge Zone" in the Great Bear Sea to prohibit sewage discharges from boats? We present results from a literature review and eight semi-structured interviews with boating and/or wastewater management experts. Specifically, we share lessons learned from other jurisdictions that have implemented No Discharge Zones, identify priority areas for sewage pumpout facilities along British Columbia's coast, and discuss relevant considerations for marinas and harbours who may want to install pumpouts. We recommend that the federal and provincial government support prompt installation of wastewater treatment facilities and sewage pumpouts in coastal communities, including suggestions for key locations for infrastructure investments. We also recommend pursuing No Discharge Zones near Prince Rupert and the northeastern side of Vancouver Island in addition to exploring alternative designations to reduce marine sewage pollution in the region.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International