Protecting islands. Because they are special –
We are dedicated to preserving and protecting the fragile and unique ecosystems of the 450 islands of the Salish Sea between southern Vancouver Island and mainland B.C.
A “hot-spot” of sensitive biological diversity, these islands are ecologically special. Protection of species at risk occurs by targeted land restoration and protecting priority habitat through voluntary conservation covenants on privately owned land, and the donation of property to create nature reserves.
They are culturally special as places of significance to Coast Salish First Nations. When land is protected, land management plans include the voice and wisdom of those who cared for this land since time immemorial.
The islands are also places of special natural beauty. Protection of natural habitat helps people at times of stress. Spending time in nature helps relieve stress and anxiety, improves mood, and boosts feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Through our conservation work we help to secure an oasis of calm for people that live on the islands, and for visitors seeking respite from hectic daily lives elsewhere.
Protecting land – Pressures from large cities (Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo), with more people drawn to the unique lifestyle offered by the islands, means protecting the islands has never been more important. Working with individuals, local conservation groups, and communities, we are entrusted with protecting 107 private properties, totaling over 1,300 hectares through conservation covenants (76) and through land donations as nature reserves (31). We need to do more.
Land protection support programs – While significant, the size and numbers of land protected tell only part of our impact story. The Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) fosters private landowner conservation protection, and the Opportunity Fund helps support our partners in their conservation efforts.
Species-at-risk – In the Canadian Government’s “pan-Canadian approach to species-at-risk conservation” the islands have been identified as a “priority place” for protection. These places have significant biodiversity, concentrations of species at risk, and provide opportunities to advance conservation efforts. In other words, they are special. Islands trust Conservancy has a program specifically dedicated to protecting and fostering species-at-risk, funded by Environment Canada.
Traditional Knowledge – We create opportunities for knowledge-sharing, understanding, and collaboration as people come together to protect the special nature of these islands.