Coastal Caretakers

Protecting The Coast

BC Marine Trails is more than a network of connected launch and landing sites along the BC Coast. It is a collaborative effort between organizations, clubs, communities, and individuals who share a common vision: to preserve and protect our marine coastline as a natural recreation paradise for all to appreciate now and in the future. Coastal Caretakers are BC Marine Trails members who strive to participate in and contribute to this vision. We think of Coastal Caretakers as individuals and groups who give VOICE to the coastal sites they choose to explore by:

Coastal Caretakers’ voices extend our ability to advocate for safe marine recreation and to preserve and protect these beautiful marine gems. 

Five Steps of Coastal Caretaking

  1. Visiting: Visit your favourite local site(s) often or plan an adventure to visit a portion of BC Marine Trails’ more remote sites.
  2. Observing: As you walk around your site, observe and take notes about signs of human impact that may detract from the natural state of the site (marine debris, fire rings, temporary structures, human waste). Remember to look up for any natural hazards like broken, but still hanging branches or angled trees that might come down with the next windstorm. Also look down to appreciate evidence of special plants, flowers, shells, and/or animal tracks. Check the condition of any site-user structures like picnic tables, tent platforms, outhouses or shelters.
  3. Interacting: As a Coastal Caretaker, you represent BC Marine Trails and your actions model our Code of Conduct. Talk with other site visitors and share information about the efforts you are making to reduce human impact and protect the natural state of the site. Remember, we are volunteers. We can model and talk about respectful recreation and low-impact practices but we are not enforcement officers.
  4. Caretaking: Dismantle fire rings, scatter the ashes and spread out the rocks. Dismantle driftwood structures to discourage future site alteration. If safe to do so, use hand tools to define public use areas and trails by removing branches, small fallen trees or brush. Do not dig or alter the soil, as you may disturb cultural and natural features. Collect marine debris and store it above the high tide line or if you have space, take it with you. If you are unsure if the debris is safe, leave it. For larger debris, take photos, and report to BC Marine Trails.
  5. Exchanging Data: Your visits to BC Marine Trails sites are an important link in how we connect, protect, and preserve the coastline for public recreation both now and in the future. The information that you share with us is key to keeping our map and site information current. Please be sure to complete the BCMT Site Condition Report (SCR). If you download the ArcGIS Survey 123 app and the site condition reports before leaving, you can complete these even while offline. If you have internet service, you can connect via the web application. Alternatively, email us your information at along with your site visit date.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, paddlers choose the sites they want to visit and when.

We recommend only what can fit into your boat. Large amounts should be referred back to the BCMT.

Given the length of our coast, we encourage you to participate as much as possible, but there are no obligations.

Coastal Caretaker Sign Up

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