Island Coastal Economic Trust Announces Funding for Fishermen's Harbour Improvement Project

Monday, December 5, 2011

Port Alberni, B.C. - Mayor Ken McRae of Port Alberni, on behalf of Barry Janyk, chair of the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) and Mayor of Gibsons, today announced funding approval of $3,545,000 for the Port Alberni Fishermen's Harbour Improvement Project.  The total cost of the project is estimated at $7,508, 000.

Mayor McRae explained that "the Trust's contribution will help the Port of Port Alberni to redevelop its basic public physical facilities in the harbour including the installation of a major floating breakwater, a new wharfinger office, a new service float, additional moorage for transient recreational vessels, a combined float plane terminal and CBSA facility and improved public access to the waterfront. These elements enhance Fishermen's Harbour towards better supporting the fishing fleet by greatly improving the protection of moored vessels from the elements, increasing the capacity for marine tourism, and generally strengthening one of the major economic assets of Port Alberni."

McRae added that the potential economic benefits of these major improvements include the attraction of private investment in seafood processing and related services, future tourism benefits with added float plane service and cruise ship visits, the attraction of mega-yachts as a result of major harbour protection, the potential of marine-oriented businesses including seafood sales, and the potential for private sector business creation and employment in support marine services.

PAPA Chair, Don Ferster explained that the objectives of the expansion and improvements to the Port will ensure that Port Alberni remains a major west coast base for commercial fishing and increase Port Alberni's role as a tourism destination and gateway for the Pacific Rim, and increase its role as a centre for recreational fishing and other outdoor activities. These fundamental improvements will ensure that Port Alberni remains the west coast Vancouver Island base for coastal shipping, aquaculture, and boat service and repair.

Project Concept Plan:

A) New Floating Breakwater and Associated Facilities

  • Ramp from Argyle Street Wharf at Alberni Harbour Quay
  • Floatplane terminal building, CBSA, washrooms
  • Hoist for commercial vessels
  • Public amenity area
  • Pedestrian lighting and benches
  • 3 floats for float planes, cruise ship tenders and short term tie ups
  • Potential future buildings for retail opportunities

B) New Service Float

  • Access ramp
  • Service tie ups
  • 3 finger floats
  • Float pre-designed for installing fuel lines

C) Wharfinger Building

  • Office, meeting room and residence
  • Washroom, showers, laundry
  • Parking

D) New Driveway

  • Vehicular access with sidewalk, viewdeck

E) New Property Line

  • Pending negotiation

F) Reconfigured Service Area

  • For improved truck circulation

G) Loading/Unloading

  • Industrial yard lighting
  • Two new hoists
  • Safe maneuvering area

 Project Fast Facts

 Total Project Cost Estimate: $7,508, 000

 Funding Partners:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $3,545,000
  • Port Alberni Port Authority: $3,713,000
  • West Coast Community Adjustment Initiative: $250,000

 Floating Breakwater:

  • 2 former sections of Hood Canal Floating Bridge linking Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas in Washington State
  • PAPA will configure the 2 sections in a "T" formation. Each section is 50 feet wide by 360 feet and 140 feet long, respectively
  • Primary purpose of breakwater is to provide protection to Fishermen's Harbour
  • Breakwater also provides a significant footprint to provide opportunities to locate a facility for Canada Border Services Agency for cruise ship passenger processing; potential for float plane service passenger facility; and a variety of other retail, service and activity amenities to enhance Port Alberni Harbour Quay

About Island Coastal Economic Trust

The Island Coastal Economic Trust was established in February 2006 under an Act of the Province of British Columbia. It provided a $50-million endowment that is managed by an independent Board of Directors comprised of thirteen members - eight Mayors and five provincial appointees from the prescribed area.

The Board's mandate is to make strategic investments in economic development priorities including forestry, transportation, tourism, mining, energy, economic development, agriculture and aquaculture, and small business. The ICET region encompasses all Regional Districts and municipalities on Vancouver Island north of the Malahat as well as the Powell River and Sunshine Coast Regional Districts.

ICET has approved over $48 million for over 80 projects on the Island and Sunshine Coast since starting its grant program in 2007. The total impact of these investments is estimated at over $247 million.  A full overview of ICET can be found at

For further information call:

Brad Madelung
Port Manager and CEO
Port Alberni Port Authority
Tel. 250-723-5312
bmadelung [dot] papa [at] portalberni [dot] ca
Don Ferster
Chair of Port Alberni Port Authority
Tel. 250-723-5312
Mayor Ken McRae
Tel. 250-720-2827
Al Baronas
Chief Executive Officer
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-334-2427 Extension 223
info [at] islandcoastaltrust [dot] ca


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