Project Title:

Cowichan Bay Harbour Expansion and Upgrade

Project Organization:

Cowichan Bay Fishermen's Wharf Association

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $187,000
  • WestCCAP: $210,360
  • DFO - Small Craft Harbours: $305,000
  • Human Resources Canada: $284,716
  • Community Fisheries Development Centre: $10,000
  • Cowichan Bay Fisherman's Wharf Association: $80,000
  • Total Budget: $1,077,076

Project Highlight:

The increased moorage space has resulted in the expansion of the annual Prawn Festival and an increase in fish sales to the public.

Historically, Cowichan Bay has been highly dependent upon the fishing and forestry sectors for local employment and economic growth. The dramatic downturn of the salmon fishery, in the late 1990’s, had a devastating effect on employment in the community and led to the current economic diversification strategy targeting tourism. Marine tourism has been steadily increasing in BC, and the Cowichan Harbour has exceeded its capacity to meet demand for transient recreational vessels.

The project included an upgrade of existing floats and the construction of new floats to increase moorage for both commercial and recreational vessels. The project also included structural upgrades to the existing wharf head, the construction and installation of 2 new 115 feet by 9 feet float fingers and electrical upgrades.

Completed in September 2010, the resulting 840 feet of tie-up space for transient visitors and new deep water moorage for larger recreational vessels has significantly increased the number of visitor nights to the region resulting in increased economic activity for local businesses. The increased moorage space has also resulted in the expansion of the annual Prawn Festival, an increase in direct fish sales to the public and the new signage has attracted more foot traffic to the facility adding to the unique attractions of Cowichan Bay.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2010 through the Capital and Innovation program.