- Plastics clean up
- Invasive species
- Site Condition Reporting
- Environmental Eval
- Site maintenance
- Public educ
- Past work
- Future work
The central vision of the BC Marine Trails is to link the entire B.C. coastline through marine routes and land sites for sustainable water-based public recreation. The association and our volunteers value the ecologically diverse environment of coastal British Columbia and efforts to protect it. We also strongly value responsible stewardship practices that benefit the ecologically diverse environment of the British Columbia coast.
Plastics clean up
Given the massive plastics problem, the BCMT works with other environmental groups in the effort to remove plastics and debris from the environment. Our program includes:
- Identifying general stretches beaches or campsites needing clean ups related to active Marine Trails or near active Marine Trails.
- Developing a budget and secure board approval for a cleanup plan
- Developing plans for the cleanup
- Post clean up work.
The BCMT has made a cause of removing invasive species on one provincial park, Gerald Island, to remove English Ivy. This will help protect the Coastal Wood Fern, a blue-listed species, and other plant species. The English Ivy introduced by a pioneer family occupies the southwest end of Gerald Island. We have conducted removal of the ivy for three years.
We are slowly building up partnerships with this particular effort and hope through discussions and engagement with First Nations, as well as with a biologist to establish best practices. The partnerships may include students from Vancouver Island University helping with the invasive species removal. Please see our report for April 2019 on this Spring’s clean up.
The burning of the ivy was recommended by other environmental organizations. Also, due to its weight and volume it couldn't be easily moved to a landfill, where it would be burnt.
Site Condition Reporting
Find the SCR form here to report on site conditions. On one of your BC coastal adventures be our Eyes and Ears and fill in a Site Condtion Report. Fill the form above or visit our Site Condition Reporting Page for more information. We maintain a list of sites that need a Site Condition Report or light maintenance. This is our current list.
Starting May 1, ending September 30, 2020 we will sponsor a Site Condition Reporting contest. This will also include people who pick up debris or garbage and let us know through the reporting they have completed this.
This contest is for any site on our map. Reporting will be judged by a panel of three independent judges. Members who complete reports will have their names automatically entered into the contest. At the end of September we will tally up the numbers and have our judges choose the best report. Site Condition Reports also assist the BCMT in finding plastics concentrations.
The BCMT is developing a comprehensive Site Environmental Evaluation Program (SEEP) and Site Impact Evaluation (SIE) that will guide the BCMT through the site selection process to ensure suitable sites are available to meet both public safety and environmental standards of recreational sustainability and conservation. This is part of our overall Environment program. More information will be provided later in the year.
We are working with other organizations like BC Parks and Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC to develop a Marine Code of Conduct. We are examining important issues like firepits, toilets, placement of tent sites, etc. Complicated but worth the time and investment.
Site maintenance and management: Site assessments, site condition reports and other input can be used to design an appropriate management program addressing identified issues for sustainability, environmental value protection and safety at all marine trail sites. These site management policies and practices are being formulated collaboratively with First Nations and stakeholders and in association with the landholder (whether RSTBC, BC Parks or Parks Canada). Such site management work includes hazard assessments and has, for example, led to the removal of potentially deadly hazard trees as part of site maintenance and assessment programs.
Core to the care of sites is fire use management, including removal of at-risk fire pits and influencing user behaviour through signs and other tools to minimize fire risks. Such tools include the marine trail users Code of Conduct, delivered through the BCMT public education program.
The BCMT conducts public education sessions in several capacities:
- We have presented sessions in local elementary and high schools on the plastics problem. Through film, photos, and PowerPoints our volunteers illustrate the beauty of the BC coastline and the impact plastics and garbage is having on ecosystems. We also give presentations on our maintenance work and other efforts.
- We have made presentations to several paddling clubs in the past three years about our Site Condition Reporting system and efforts to clean up plastics, remove invasive species, and other other efforts.
- We have given presentations at forums or conferences.
We are planning on more training for volunteers in the near future. More to come.
BC Marine Trails is a volunteer run organization. Adopting a good volunteer strategy that is proactive in recruitment, engages and retains volunteers, clearly identifies their roles and responsibilities, supports and recognizes their achievements is key to maintaining a consistent and effective operation. This application recognizes the importance of organizing and training volunteers. It does so through a BCMT Standards of Practice.
We organize clean ups, invasive species removal and some maintenance trips. These trips require a fair amount of organization, generally in the Spring, and are subject to change due to weather, availability of trip leaders, and other requirements.
Past workSummaries and past photos can be found here.
Future workStewardship committee plans for 2020:
- Surfers Beach West Coast Vancouver clean up - end of June 2020
- Invasive species removal Gerald Island - Spring 2020
- Maintenance in Discovery Island - camping, maintenance - Spring 2020
- Site Condition Reporting contest
- Public education program around our upcoming Environmental Care Program