BC Marine Trails Application for Coastal Caretaking at West Ballenas

The BC Parks Foundation (BCPF) is again collaborating with BC Marine Trails (BCMT) on stewardship of West Ballenas Island as part of BCMT’s Coastal Caretakers' Program. Our aim is to recruit experienced volunteers from BC Marine Trails' Coastal Caretakers who plan to visit West Ballenas Island via kayak or boat during the summer when visitation levels are higher (mid-June to mid-September).

Volunteers must complete the BCMT Waiver on our website and be signed on as Coastal Caretakers who agree to give VOICE to this island by:
  • visiting the island
  • observing any signs of human impact (e.g. fire activity, debris, trampling)
  • interacting with visitors (greeting/educating about sensitive ecosystems and responsible recreation)
  • caretaking (minor cleanups of debris to return the site to its natural state)
  • exchanging data with BCMT through our Site Condition Reports (SCRs).

As West Ballenas is a special collaboration, we ask that Coastal Caretakers include in their Site Condition Reports the number of visitors they met, what visitors were doing for activities and the length of time at the islands.

Each volunteer is asked to commit to visiting West Ballenas Island for one or two days between mid-June and mid-September. We ask that volunteers select the week(s) that works best with their schedule and then choose the best weather day (or days) during that week for their visit. One of the privileges of this project is that Coastal Caretakers for West Ballenas Island have special permission from BC Parks Foundation to camp on the island overnight while carrying out duties.
Training material on public engagement, how to be a good Coastal Caretaker, and the natural and cultural history of West Ballenas Island is available for volunteers individually through a Zoom meeting and/or email communication with Karina Younk.
Caution: This program is not open to the general public. The island is still privately held by the BC Parks Foundation and we are keeping our data-collection work low-key by not promoting public visitation. With the help of Coastal Caretakers, BCPF is seeking to have eyes on the ground through the summer months, especially to look out for and report fire activity or other human impacts and to assist with site monitoring of the main habitats on the island. An additional aspect of our work this summer is that we have permission to remove English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry when we find patches.

Please fill in the form below.

BC Marine Trails Experience(s)

Caution: West Ballenas Island is considered both close and remote. Winds can rise quickly and can be strong. Therefore, volunteer paddlers must have a good understanding of wind, weather, and currents and be able to paddle in 15 knot winds.

Coastal Caretaker Experience(s)

Volunteers must have signed up as a BCMT Coastal Caretaker

Participation requirements (all boxes must be checked to apply) *

Preferred Volunteer Week(s) at West Ballenas

Please check each week where you would be available to visit Ballenas for a day or to camp overnight. Remember, you commit to a specific week(s), but then you select the best weather day(s) that fits your schedule within the selected week.

Other Volunteering Opportunities with BC Marine Trails (Optional)

If you would like to be more involved as a volunteer with BC Marine Trails, please let us know your skill areas! We can always use more help!