Units work together to help clean up Roach Cove

The debris collected at Roach Cove was brought by watercraft to HMC Dockyard for proper disposal.
Local Canadian Armed Forces personnel walk along the shoreline at Roach Cove to access a built up area of debris.

Units work together to help clean up Roach Cove

By Lt(N) Romard,
Base Operations, CFB Halifax

At Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax, we pride ourselves in being good neighbours to our local community and are also committed to being good stewards of the environment. This past summer, a local environmental group observed a concentrated debris pile that was building up in Roach Cove, a remote cove located along Halifax’s Bedford Basin and Canadian Forces Ammunitions Depot (CFAD) Bedford. Garbage naturally collects in this area due to the currents and the natural shape of the cove. 

Upon notification of this debris pile, members from Base Operations and other local units quickly got to work, making their way through CFAD Bedford’s thick woods and a rocky coastline to access Roach Cove for a reconnaissance mission. Upon inspection, they realized that the most efficient method of debris removal would be via boat, not by land.  

Several weeks later, near the end of September, military personnel from Base Operations and Naval Fleet School (Atlantic) worked together to pull various floating debris from the cove, bagging and sorting items as required including tires, plastics and general waste material. After the floating debris was collected, Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) (FDU(A)) assisted Base Operations with removing it using their watercraft, transporting all items to Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Dockyard for proper disposal.

In the end, supporting units assisted in retrieval and disposal of approximately 50 tires from the cove, as well as copious amounts of plastics and garbage. Base Operations would like to send a thank you to the local environmental group that brought this matter to the Base’s attention, and to the local military units who assisted with clean-up efforts, including: CFAD Bedford, FDU(A), HMCS St John’s, Naval Fleet School Atlantic, the Transport, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (TEME) unit at Base Logistics, and MARLANT Safety & Environment. 

Clean up efforts such as this one in Roach Cove can certainly be challenging given limited land access, but are important activities in order to protect the environment. Additionally, these initiatives allow members from all three elements and at all ranks to work together and create a bond with a common goal: leaving our environment better than we found it.