Lower Fraser: proposed limited zones to paddlers!

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by mick_allen, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    The Port of Vancouver has now proposed draft legislation covering all of the South Fraser Arm, part of the North Fraser Arm that will put the more interesting lower Fraser off limits to all unpowered craft [canoes, kayaks, rowing club shells, OCs of all types, SUPs, etc.] The regions covered will prohibit any unpowered transit from the Mid Fraser out to the ocean: so much for any BC marine trail connections here, so much for the huge 'Experience the Fraser' initiative sponsored by the BC gov't and all the connected municipalities up to Hope, so much for Tribal Journeys down the Fraser.

    the announcement is here:
    http://portmetrovancouver.cmail19.c...EF23F30FEDED/AED7314E21078A26E89F0E32AAFB68BF

    The document in question is here:
    https://www.portvancouver.com/wp-co.../02-13-2018-Notice-of-Amendment-final-1-1.pdf
    The restricted areas are: [note inclusion of part of the North Arm]
    TCZ-4proposed.jpg
    We're a 'tier 2 vessel' so the relevant language in the document is:
    page 14:

    c) Tier 2 Vessel Regulations including Fishing and Pleasure Craft

    All Tier 2 vessels including fishing vessels, pleasure craft and sailing vessels, when transiting TCZ-4 must be under adequate mechanical power.

    Mar 14th is the cutoff date for objections to this:
    Anyone that may be affected by these amendments may comment in writing by March 14th, 2018 to the attention of:

    Marine Operations Specialist navigation.review@portvancouver.com

    **

    Note that a similar initiative was raised not long ago for areas around Stanley Park:
    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/com...ock-stanley-park-off-limits-to-paddlers.8029/
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    9,302
    Location:
    Beautiful BC
    Mick, are you certain that the language excludes paddle craft? It would be nice to have specific confirmation from Fraser Port Authority that paddlers are being banned from the river before before sending off letters.
     
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    In rereading, the exclusion zone seems to be 122 metres [400 feet] wide [or shoreline to shoreline if less wide] all up the South Arm. In all cases, this seems to be much less than 1/3 the width of this part of the Fraser - here's a narrow point just south of Annacis Island:
    TCZ-4proposed2.jpg
    So I think we [I, heh heh] might have got a bit alarmist here - the only issue is that it would be illegal to cross from one side to the other, but otherwise, there's lots of space.

    So . . . can you change the title of this thread from 'off limits' to 'limited zone' or something less severe?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  4. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Semiahmoo, South Surrey, BC
    But so much for those who want to paddle from Steveston to the Ladner slough...
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    I think I am still incorrect: the 61 meter exclusion zone is additionally on either side of the navigable zone which is defined by:

    b) Horizontal Clearances
    The width of the navigable channel is between 200m and 260m which is based on the channel design
    for the particular section of the Fraser River.

    - Section 1: Design navigation channel width 250m. After Steveston Bend the channel
    transitions from 250m to 200m;
    -Section 2: Design navigation channel width 200m;
    -Section 3: Design navigation channel width 200m;
    -Section 4: Design navigation channel width 200m and 260m on Mungo’s bend.

    so that means a swath of 322 m [1055 ft] wide to as much as 382 m [1250 ft] all up the South Arm to New West. And as the navigation channel is not necessarily centred, so sometimes the larger zone width will sweep the shore therebye LOCKING IN small pockets to paddle in.

    that's my read so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,492
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Speaking from a distance, and a position of full ignorance: could it be possible to draw up the maritime variation of a "bicycle lane" threading its way along these oversubscribed waters ... for paddlecraft? Somewhat akin to the separated transit zones in Victoria Harbour along the passage from the seawall/jetty at its mouth into the harbour proper?

    Paddlecraft need only a narrow lane. Having a clearly defined "channel" where freighters, tugs, and other larger "encumbered" vessels would know to look for paddlecraft might solve the problem.

    In any case, the cumbersome legal language currently proposed hardly seems useful to anyone except a law enforcement officer looking to pick off some hapless kayaker for drifting a bit into verboten waters.

    (I'll shut up now.)
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    I think that is a logical stance to take: say 100-150m wide zones along each shoreline to allow non motorized craft an ability to navigate past and stay clear of dangerous obstructions like docks and log booms. And then in addition one would need lots of locations to cross from one side to the other: the transit across the navigation zone could be quick - say 4km/hr slowest going across 200 m equals about 6 minutes crossing time.
    That seems like a defendable position to propose, thoughts?
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,492
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Mick, I get about 3 minutes for that 200 m crossing, FWIW.

    We regularly transit the shipping channel running up the Columbia, which has a nominal 200 m width, and figure about 2 minutes to cross it ... but much of the Columbia is open water, with the shipping channel defined by buoys (ca. 1 - 2 km separation on turns or range changes) and/or ranges. The latter are by far more useful, in part because freighters almost always stick to that line. Our problem is figuring out where the edges of the channel are.

    In the relatively confined waters on the Fraser where the proposal will apply, few encumbered vessels will stray outside their channel, except for docking or turning maneuvers. This should make defining and using any "paddlers trail" pass-through much easier.

    Unfortunately, I suspect such an idea will meet a lot of bureaucratic resistance, as well as having to surmount hurdles of practicality. Time for me to hide and watch.
     
  9. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    Mick, I get about 3 minutes for that 200 m crossing, FWIW.
    Sheesh, but I get slower and slower after those first few metres, heh heh . . . . but in that case, maybe there's more of an argument for allowance.

    It will be interesting to see what happens as there has to be an accommodation or we're screwed here.
     
  10. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    739
  11. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    the following was posted on the Sea Kayak Assoc of BC:

    I would strongly encourage everyone who has concerns about this significant change to respond by Mar 14th to
    Marine Operations Specialist navigation.review@portvancouver.com
     
  12. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    Nick Heath got wind of the following email :

    Danielle Jang of the Port Authority issued this clarification yesterday:


    “Below is some information and clarification on the proposed amendments. Let me know if you have any questions on this or need further information.
    Thanks,
    Danielle”



    “Ensuring the safe navigation of all vessels through the waterways in our jurisdiction is of paramount importance to the port authority. Over the last few years, we have been working with industry partners, including the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), the Fraser River Pilots (FRP) and the broader marine industry, to formalize existing best practices and procedures for marine vessel traffic control and safety in the Fraser River.


    The purpose of the Traffic Control Zone 4 (TCZ-4) Vessel Traffic Procedures, subsection (c) Tier 2 Vessel Regulations including Fishing and Pleasure Craft, is to ensure operators of non-motorized vessels, including kayaks and paddleboards, are aware of the hazards and risks of collision in this area that are unique to river waters and narrow channels and comply with existing Canadian Law. Under the Canada Shipping Act<http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._1416/page-3.html#docCont>, Collision Regulations, it is stated that “a vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway,” such as is the case in the Fraser River. The port authority considered this existing law in the development of the Fraser River Traffic Control Zone.


    We recognize that there have been some concerns regarding these procedures, and as a result of public feedback we have already received during the 30-day public comment period, we will be providing further clarification within the Port Information Guide concerning paddle boarders and kayakers, specifically as it relates to operating in and around the TCZ-4. In the image below of the Fraser River safe boating guide<https://www.portvancouver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SafeBoating-FraserRiver.pdf>, the red lines indicate the deep-sea vessel transit route. Clarification will be included in the guide to illustrate that the TCZ-4 procedures apply only within these red lines. Non-motorized vessels can still cross the TCZ-4, but are advised that this is a deep-sea vessel transit route and it is not safe to cross when a deep-sea vessel is transiting, as a larger vessel cannot deviate from its course or come to a full stop in a short distance.


    Language will also be added to the procedures clarifying that in cases where the TCZ-4 borders on the shoreline, operators of vessels not suitable to transit within the deep-sea vessel route in the TCZ-4 shall navigate as close to the shoreline as is safe and practical. These practices and procedures are in line with international best practice, including those described in the Collision Regulations.”


    [as Nick says]:
    This seems to be a case of poor communications on the part of the Port Authority – inadequate care taken in drafting regulations and lack of proper outreach to its community. But they sure know how to waste everyone else’s time!
     
  13. johnd

    johnd Paddler

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    "Share the Fraser" and others who have sent in comments have just received this message back from Sean Baxter , the marine Operations Specialist, concerning the proposed Port Amendments. It seems like this is going to address our concerns and provide some clarity on the issue, which hopefully should ensure that future interpreters of the text do not end up excluding paddle- craft from these waters.
    Thanks to everyone who sent in comments to the Port Authority about this.

    For anyone who has not received this already, the message is below.
    It looks the attachment is not coming along with this post, but you may be able to google the document on the Port website./
    John


    Good morning,


    Our team has put together the attached Consideration Report in response to your submitted feedback to the Port Information Guide, Notice of Amendment (February 13, 2018).


    Having considered all of the feedback provided to us during the Notice of Amendment period (Feb 13 – Mar 14) – Vancouver Fraser Port Authority intends to publish the revised procedures next week. When published, the Consideration Report and revised procedures will be made public on our website. The revised procedures will take into consideration, and make revisions where necessary, incorporating comments received during this time.


    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing feedback on the proposed procedures.


    Kind Regards,

    Sean Baxter


    Marine Operations Specialist
     
  14. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,882
    I received the following pdf this morning. It outlines the various comments [54] they received and their responses to them.
     
  15. johnd

    johnd Paddler

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Thanks Mick,
    I couldn't figure out how to attach the file. We still haven't seen the final " procedures", but this looks encouraging.