Environmental Care Program

Photo by V. Gibberd

Stewardship and Conservation

Our stewardship and conservation work is overseen by a stewardship committee. If you would like to volunteer for a specific event check the calendar. We generally begin advertising for volunteers 2 to 4 weeks ahead of event. Because our events are more weather-dependent (We are paddlers!) we have to carefully check the weather and figure out how to plan events around it.

Major Cleanups

Invasive species work takes place on Gerald Island Provincial Park once or twice a year. It’s approximately a 20-minute paddle from Vancouver Island with a good landing on the southwest side of the island. For approximately five years English ivy has been removed to protect a blue-listed fern from Gerald Island. In April 2021, volunteers invested 300 hours of time.

We also conduct larger clean ups on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This past year, the provincial government provided funds to many organizations/businesses and we did not participate in this type of event.

Site Maintenance

Some of this work is done through local paddling clubs or organized through a BCMT event. In total we look after 16 recreation sites.

  • Sea Kayak Association of BC – stewards look after six recreation sites and Apodaca Park.
  • Cowichan Kayak & Canoe Club – stewards look after Musgrave Point.
  • Comox Paddlers – look after three sites in the Discovery Islands.
  • BC Marine Trails – looks after three sites in Discoveries; and three sites in Quatsino Sound.

We have placed signage at many launch sites for our marine trails.

World Oceans Week (WOW)

WOW! We are promoting World Oceans Week each year between June 1 and June 8. We invite all who enjoy exploring our coasts to participate in our BC Marine Trails WOW Challenge by sending us photos at wow@bcmarinetrails.org.

New in 2022! Now you can submit your cleanup data through our WOW123 survey. At the end of June, we will share the cumulative collection data with Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups.

Remember it’s easy to lead by example all year long! Simply pack a bag and a pair of gloves to collect debris each time you paddle.

If you have questions about how you can share or contribute to WOW events, send Karina an email at wow@bcmarinetrails.org.

Environmental Program

The BCMT developed a comprehensive Environmental Care Program in early 2020 and will be implementing it in the coming years. It contains various facets, including:

The Marine Code of Conduct: In 2019 and 2020 a marine Code of Conduct was developed by John Kimantas and a team of BC Marine Trails volunteers. Hundreds of hours of staff and volunteer hours helped bring this important piece of work forward. Click here to learn more.

Public Education: BC Marine Trails will be developing a comprehensive public outreach strategy to educate on the Marine Code of Conduct, species of concern to BCMT (those impacted by paddling and recreational use) and other aspects of the overall Environmental Care Program.

The overall goal is sustainable recreation practices, so if you follow the Code of Conduct and pay attention to the species of concern, your impact will be minimal and ensure the locations you visit becasue they are beautiful stay that way.