Over the last decade, as part of the Islands Trust marine stewardship program, the Islands Trust, along with other local governments and allies such as the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Georgia Strait Alliance, has been writing to and meeting with elected and paid officials of the agencies responsible for negotiating the proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve (NMCA).
The concept of marine protection for the Southern Strait of Georgia was first proposed in the late 1960s. The area is among the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and is home to some of Canada's most iconic marine animals such as orca whales, salmon and seals. Ecologically sustainable fishing, navigation and recreation will continue once the NMCA is established.
After more than a decade of study, on October 13, 2011, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia announced a proposed boundary for the proposed NMCA. The proposed boundary closely matches the one suggested in the Islands Trust's resolution endorsed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in 2010. The proposed feasibility study area (see map) now extends to the southern tip of Gabriola Island, as was advocated by the Gabriola Local Trust Committee in 2005.
In February 2013, the Islands Trust Chair wrote to the federal and provincial ministers of environment to convey the Islands Trust Council's:
- continued support for the establishment of the proposed NMCA;
- support for enacting the entire perimeter (or larger) as currently proposed;
- recommendation that local trust committee zoning be used by Parks Canada as the basis for defining the zoning in the NMCA Interim Management Plan;
- proposal that the Islands Trust be included in a joint management approach to the NMCA. (Federal response; provincial response)
The Islands Trust has encouraged the support the creation of the NMCA Reserve in several meetings with provincial ministers of environment.
Please visit Parks Canada for more information on this topic. Please forward your comments or questions on all aspects of the proposal to Parks Canada here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Islands Trust Policy Statement include Policy 3.4.2: It is Trust Council's policy that marine areas be protected and coastal zone management principles be defined in consultation with agents of the government of British Columbia, the government of Canada, Crown corporations, municipalities, regional districts, non-government organizations, property owners and occupiers.