Mapping

The environmental threat of Canada's shipwrecks

  • Jan 20, 2016
  • 301 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image
Advertisement

It’s more than just your typical eyesore. The rusting, stained 150-metre-long hull of the abandoned bulk carrier Kathryn Spirit anchored in Lake Saint-Louis near Beauharnois, Que., could leak toxic materials into the lake, which is part of Montreal’s supply of drinking water.

Earlier this week, Beauharnois mayor Claude Haineault repeated his calls to federal authorities to deal with the vessel before it potentially causes an environmental catastrophe.

Haineault may have good cause for concern. According to a recent investigation by the Global News program 16X9, there are 716 sunken vessels in Canadian waters that could pose environmental hazards, as shown in this interactive map. The wrecks’ locations are based on their own research of at-risk shipwrecks in Canada, since no federal authority has an inventory of sunken vessels in the country, according to a Department of Fisheries and Oceans official that was quoted by the program.

The investigation was launched following the 500,000 litre fuel leak in 2013 from Manolis L, a freighter that sank in 1985 near Change Islands, off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. With wrecks clustered on Canada’s East and West Coasts, as well as along the St. Lawrence River, the map offers a sobering look at the potential dangers these vessels may pose.

16X9 will air their full investigation, “An Oil Spill a Day,” on Jan. 23.

Expand Image
Advertisement

Related Content

The pumpjack is an iconic symbol of oil in the West.

Science & Tech

13+ things you didn’t know about energy

Massive oilfields, huge offshore rigs, high-tech refineries, colossal dams, sprawling wind farms — how much do you really know about BIG power in Canada?

  • 2842 words
  • 12 minutes

Travel

Trans Canada Trail celebrates 30 years of connecting Canadians

The trail started with a vision to link Canada coast to coast to coast. Now fully connected, it’s charting an ambitious course for the future.

  • 1730 words
  • 7 minutes
Climate strike Victoria BC

Environment

Why Canada should recognize its citizens’ environmental rights

David Boyd, a Canadian environmental lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, reveals how recognizing the human right to a healthy environment can spur positive action for the planet

  • 1447 words
  • 6 minutes

Environment

The sixth extinction

The planet is in the midst of drastic biodiversity loss that some experts think may be the next great species die-off. How did we get here and what can be done about it?

  • 4869 words
  • 20 minutes