State of the Beach/State Reports/BC/Surfing Areas
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Inventory and Perception of Status
One of Vancouver Island’s premier surf breaks, Jordan River, has been under threat from development. If the proposed project goes forward as planned, not only will the tree’d landscape be compromised, but water quality may suffer from suburban sprawl runoff, safe access will be threatened and a historical area set aside as a Surfing Preserve may be taken out of the Provincial Parks system. See this Paddle out for public access in Jordan River, BC video.
In the Fall of 2007, it was discovered that British Columbia’s provincial Minister of Forests and Range, Rich Coleman, released 28,000 hectares of land—which includes Jordan River—from the Tree Farm Licenses (TFL) owned by forest company Western Forest Products (WFP) without any public consultation or compensation. To put this into perspective, the amount of land put up for sale equals end-on-end football fields stretched from the West Coast to the East Coast of Canada, and it includes some of the last heavily-forested ocean/beachfront land in the province.
The release of these TFLs lacked proper public consultation and process, and once out of the control of WFP, the land was no longer subject to the Forest and Ranges Practices Act; an act that assured sustainable logging and environmental forest practices. The backlash towards the Minister, the forest company and perspective purchaser has been massive, and a coalition of surfers, politicians, concerned citizens, First Nations, lawyers, environmentalists and taxpayers formed a Jordan River Steering Committee to watch dog potential development, and to bring attention to this gross mismanagement of our natural resources.
Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island is an active and vocal member of the Jordan River Steering Committee and along with other stakeholders, managed to instigate an Auditor General’s investigation into the matter and convince local governments to downzone the area. The downzoning makes purchasing the land much less attractive to potential developers as they will not be able to achieve the density required to make the venture profitable.
Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island Chapter has been working with other local community organizations to help protect The Point at Jordan River from development since 2008. They’ve held paddle outs to celebrate public access (see above) and attended community meetings to offer opinions on the impact of development. In October 2012, Surfrider held a surf gear swap to raise funds for the lands and invited CRD Parks Planners to attend and give a presentation on the proposed park. As of late December 2012, The Point at Jordan River and nearby lands are now officially a CRD park! The CRD hosted consultation sessions in 2013 to hear from surfers, community members and other stakeholders about potential improvements to the lands. On January 14, 2013 Surfrider Vancouver Island presented the Capital Regional District with a cheque for almost $5,000 in support of the purchase of the parklands at Jordan River. While Surfrider’s donation may be small compared to the total purchase cost of $9.945 million, as the folks at the CRD said, “Every bit helps!”
The other major surfing area on Vancouver Island is centered around Tofino. Surfline provides a good overview of the surfing areas and typical conditions near Tofino.
Local Surfrider Foundation Chapters
|Pacific Rim Chapter||49° 9' 8.7624", -125° 54' 8.9748"||http://pacificrim.surfrider.org/|
|Vancouver Chapter||49° 14' 54.6828", -123° 6' 31.68"||http://vancouverbc.surfrider.org/|
|Vancouver Island Chapter||48° 25' 42.9996", -123° 21' 56.0016"||http://vancouverisland.surfrider.org/|
Also see Surfing Vancouver Island Canada Surfrider News & Events
Surfrider Staff Contact
Regional Chapter Coordinator
Phone: (253) 442-3743
Additional information on surfing and surfing areas in British Columbia is available from:
|State of the Beach Report: British Columbia|
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