City approves boat tours at pier

Andrew Newman to launch White Rock Eco Tours after council approves bid.

The White Rock pier will soon be the launching pad for an Eco-tourism business, after city council gave its unanimous approval last month to a proposal from the business owner.

Andrew Newman, owner of White Rock Sea Tours, will use the public float on the east side of the pier for picking up and dropping off passengers taking part in tours aboard his 12-passenger, 25-foot zodiac.

The tours will include whale watching trips, shuttle service to and from Cabbage Island Marine Park, trips to a winery on Saturna Island and exploration of Georgia Strait and Semiahmoo Bay, Newman told Peace Arch News.

Newman, an 11-year volunteer with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Crescent Beach station, said his vessel is currently in the shop getting painted and upholstered, and that his tours will be up and running within a few weeks.

“We’re ready to go as soon as it’s out of the shop,” Newman said.

City staff recommended an annual lease fee of $1,000 per season for use of the float – no overnight moorage will be allowed – with the option of renewing the lease after one year.

The proposal was met with excitement from city council, who said they hope it will open doors to other waterfront possibilities.

“I think this will be a fantastic way to continue to explore the potential for whale watching or any type of marine wildlife tours,” Coun. Bill Lawrence said.