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BC Marine Trails: Preserving BC coastal access for small craft users.

LNT Code of Ethics

The BC Marine Trails Network Association Code of Ethics

We are currently developing a Code of Conduct based on Leave No Trace principles (below), but adapted slightly with some considerations for sea kayakers or canoeists, who ply BC West Coast waters. People often confuse a 'Code of Ethics' with a 'Code of Conduct'. A 'Code of Ethics' sometimes is called a value statement and refers to principles that guide behaviour. The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace Canada help guide the behaviour of people using the outdoors. A 'Code of Conduct' is described as the meat and potatoes of the 'Code of Ethics'. In the case of LNT principles, they are applied to various relevant situations. For example, if you are near wildlife (i.e. a Killer Whale) our 'Code of Conduct' reminds you to stay at least 100 metres distant. We are currently working on our Code of Conduct, refining it to make sense to most paddlers.

BC Marine Trails Network Association's LNT Code of Ethics (Our Code of Conduct, developed at a later date, will be based on the Leave No Trace Principles below)

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Learn ahead of any environmental concerns or regulations where you are going.
  • Leave extra food packaging behind.
  • Take sturdy garbage bags, a collapsible sink, a system for hanging food, biodegradable soap & trowel.
  • Travel in small groups.

Camp & Travel on Durable Surfaces


  • Avoid trampling and erosion—use designated trails.
  • Respect wildlife habitats and animal trails.
  • Avoid cutting trees or branches.
  • When possible, camp on established sites.
  • Choose a low impact surface for camping, such as sand, rock, gravel, dry grass.
  • Camp at least 50 meters from fresh water.

Dispose of Waste Properly


In General:

  • If you packed it in, please pack it out.
  • Reduce the amount of potential garbage with careful meal planning, eating leftovers for snacks or lunches.
  • Leave a site cleaner than you found it.
Waste Water
  • Use minimal amounts of biodegradable soap
  • Use sand or gravel as a scouring pad.
  • Dispose of waste water far from the campsite, in moving water.
  • Brush your teeth at the ocean's edge.
Human Waste
Consider the method below which will leave the least impact to the site:
  • Use outhouses
  • Pack it out

Leave What You Find


  • Do not disturb archaeological or heritage sites.
  • Avoid altering existng campsites.
  • Leave natural objects for others to enjoy.
  • Let photos be your souvenirs.

Minimize Campfire Impacts


Best: don’t build them...cook on camp stoves. Or, and if regulations allow fires...

  • Use fire pits or rings in developed sites.
  • Build necessary fires well below high tide.
  • Keep fires small; burn dead wood or small diameter driftwood.
  • Burn down totally to ash.
  • Scatter all traces of the fire into the ocean.

Respect Wildlife


  • Select landing sites carefully—avoid trampling, impacting intertidal life.
  • Tread carefully along the intertidal zone.
  • Travel quietly and observe wildlife from a distance: 100 metres from sea mammals, 50 m from most birds. Use binoculars.
  • Learn about the wildlife beforehand in order to avoid sensitive times and habitats.
  • Never feed animals—do not drop food scraps.
  • Store food and trash securely; hang your food 30 metres away from tents.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors


  • Minimize noise—let nature’s sounds prevail.
  • Always show respect for fellow users.
  • Keep your camp use area small to give others space to camp too.



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