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BC Marine Trails: January News

Cape Sutil on the Cape Scott Marine Trail. Photo courtesy Wild Coast Publishing.

Charting the Cape Scott Marine Trail

BC Marine Trails is turning its attention in 2020 to completing the Cape Scott Marine Trail as one of the coast's true adventure routes.

The proposal is for a "natural trail" - a trail to be left as much as possible in a natural, unaltered state. Sites will be shortlisted to optimize safety and connectivity along the trail, and BCMT will be reaching out to the three First Nations with traditional territory along the route - Kwakiutl, Tlatlasikwala and Quatsino - to develop protocols for visitors so the interests of the First Nations are represented throughout the route. 

The Cape Scott Marine Trail was originally named the North Island Circle Route, but changed to differentiate it from the North Island in New Zealand. Adding "Cape Scott" clarifies the geographic location and calling it a "marine trail" makes it consistent with other BCMT initiatives.

Work underway includes formalizing three Recreation Sites in Quatsino Sound: Hunt Islets, Mahatta Creek and a site on Drake Island. 

Work remaining includes identifying and assessing safety stops along Goletas Channel near Port Hardy to optimize it for safe transit by paddlecraft. 
A male harlequin duck, one of the species most prone to impact from passing paddlers. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.

A focus on the environment

Did you know that harlequin ducks are territorial and stay close to home near rocky shoreline during the summer? But they also lose the ability to fly, making them one of the most impacted species on the British Columbia coast simply through inadvertent proximity to passing paddlers.

So the next time you see some ducks scurrying along the water to get away from you, be aware you're invading their home and causing them undue stress!

You'll be hearing a lot more about species like these in the coming years as BCMT turns its stewardship focus on Caring for our Trails with a full Environmental Care Program aimed at everything from educating about the largest marine mammals to the smallest rare wildflower. 

Here's a hint of what you can expect.

The Marine Trail Users Code of Conduct: To be unveiled at the BCMT/PIKA Spring Forum April 4 in Delta, the Code of Conduct significantly updates the Leave No Trace principles and applies them to sustainable recreational use of the British Columbia coast. These will become the guiding principles for user behaviour on the coast in the years to come. You can sign up for our Spring Forum here after March 1, 2020. Limited spots are available. The forum will have a focus on the new Environmental Care Program being developed by BCMT.

Volunteering: The BC Marine Trails largely receives requests to participate in clean ups. A portion of these volunteers submitted application forms in 2019. For 2020 clean ups, we will first access submitted forms to find volunteers. If you would like to fill in an application form please email us and we will send you a link. BCMT will be visiting Gerald island Provincial Park for the fourth year between April 6 to April 9 to battle English ivy at this wonderful island in the Winchelsea Islands off Nanoose north of Nanaimo. We are also planning our West Coast plastics clean up (more information coming in upcoming newsletters). Need some inspiration on why to get involved? Check out our stewardship video. Those who take part love the experience! This video shows why.

We currently our looking for a webmaster to join our IT team to assist with the future design of a website and assist with the maintenance of current site. And, we are always looking for help with our committees - Stewardship, Trails Development, Volunteer and IT team.

We need specialized volunteers!

Where there's a will, is there a way? BCMT is putting out the call for specialized expertise in helping us develop a Will and Giving Legacy fundraising program. This requires the legal background to develop documents so BCMT is positioned to receive bequeathments. Once that's done, you can remember us in your will!
Your business is our business. As part of sustainable plans to live or play on the BC coast we occasionally need to install toilets. It's a very labour-intensive volunteer activity completed for the most part by everyday paddlers. Perhaps consider this an unusual charitable gift for Christmas to the BC Marine Trails! As funding is achieved, more toilets will be added to the list. You can donate here. Tax receipts are available.

In the news:

From the Outdoor Recreation Council: The Provincial Trails Strategy provides BC with a framework for the development and maintenance of a sustainable network of trails. The strategy is undergoing a review and there’s a unique opportunity to help inform updates by providing feedback through an online questionnaire by Feb. 28.

Another biosphere? Metro Vancouver's Climate Action Committee has added its voice to back the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative. Biosphere reserves are UNESCO-designated areas. There are nearly 700 of them around the world, including Clayoquot Sound and Mount Arrowsmith, both on Vancouver Island. Howe Sound is home to the Sea to Sky Marine Trail and is becoming a major recreational area after decades as an industrial zone where pollution created infamous environmental "dead zones."

Tracking resistance and renewal: If you're looking to see advocacy mapped out, this new web service does just that. Access to Media Education Society (AMES) is moving into geo-mapping to connect advocates that are otherwise geographically and culturally dispersed.

Copyright © 2020 BC Marine Trails, All rights reserved.

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