Presentation Abstract

Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem is a fjord located close to Vancouver BC, dotted with islands, and home to several communities and many unique marine species. Due to multiple factors including historical industries throughout the fjord and a growing human population with subsequent development, the marine environment became degraded, leading in some cases to population level species impacts. In 2017, an Ocean Watch report was released to summarize the state of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem’s coastal ocean environment. The articles contained in the report included recommended actions to improve the marine environment throughout the fjord. These actions were consolidated into an Action Plan containing seven key actions, for example the creation of a Marine Reference Guide. Motivated local citizens, who had already been working for years to improve the health of the fjord, rallied behind the Action Plan. Bolstered by their impetus, forward movement has been seen on all seven of the key actions. The priority Marine Reference Guide is under development and supported by a management team, steering committee and advisors. Additionally, community support has led to new marine refuges being created to protect unique species in the Sound, and citizen scientists contributing data to various projects to help track the status and trends of key indicators. In 2020, an update to the 2017 report will be released. All indications thus far are that these actions are having a positive impact on the health of the fjord, for example by the return of top trophic level species, and an increase in the number of critical fish observed. While there is still room to improve the mobilization of coastal health initiatives, the Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem community is an inspiration for other coastal areas.

Session Title

Local Networks Generate Innovative Recovery Actions

Conference Track

Education, Community & Social Science

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_3647

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

A coastal health report mobilized community members to improve a marine environment

Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem is a fjord located close to Vancouver BC, dotted with islands, and home to several communities and many unique marine species. Due to multiple factors including historical industries throughout the fjord and a growing human population with subsequent development, the marine environment became degraded, leading in some cases to population level species impacts. In 2017, an Ocean Watch report was released to summarize the state of Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem’s coastal ocean environment. The articles contained in the report included recommended actions to improve the marine environment throughout the fjord. These actions were consolidated into an Action Plan containing seven key actions, for example the creation of a Marine Reference Guide. Motivated local citizens, who had already been working for years to improve the health of the fjord, rallied behind the Action Plan. Bolstered by their impetus, forward movement has been seen on all seven of the key actions. The priority Marine Reference Guide is under development and supported by a management team, steering committee and advisors. Additionally, community support has led to new marine refuges being created to protect unique species in the Sound, and citizen scientists contributing data to various projects to help track the status and trends of key indicators. In 2020, an update to the 2017 report will be released. All indications thus far are that these actions are having a positive impact on the health of the fjord, for example by the return of top trophic level species, and an increase in the number of critical fish observed. While there is still room to improve the mobilization of coastal health initiatives, the Howe Sound/Atl’ḵa7tsem community is an inspiration for other coastal areas.