Managing Obstructions

Under the Navigation Protection Act (NPA), an obstruction is:

  • a vessel, or part of one, that is wrecked, sunk, partially sunk, lying ashore or grounded
  • anything of human origin that obstructs or impedes navigation, or makes navigation more difficult or dangerous

The definition of “obstruction” does not include anything of natural origin, unless a person causes it to obstruct or impede navigation, or make navigation more difficult or dangerous.

The NPP manages obstructions in navigable waters in three categories:

  • Obstructions on scheduled navigable waters, as listed on the schedule to the Act
  • Works subject to review under the NPA
  • Private Buoys on all navigable waters, as defined under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 – Private Buoy Regulations

A “wreck” may be treated in one of two ways: as an obstruction to navigation under the NPA, or as a Wreck under the Receiver of Wreck provisions of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

Go to: NPP Responsibilities under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001

Navigation-related complaints are addressed as a high priority by the NPP, particularly when the matter poses a safety hazard to navigation.

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