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' 8.76" N, 125° 54' 8.97" W||http://pacificrim.surfrider.org/|
|Vancouver Chapter||49° 14' 54.68" N, 123° 6' 31.68" W||http://vancouverbc.surfrider.org/|
|Vancouver Island Chapter||48° 25' 43.00" N, 123° 21' 56.00" W||http://vancouverisland.surfrider.org/|
Vancouver Chapter Website
The Vancouver Chapter is currently running several campaigns and programs throughout the lower mainland including:
- Rise Above Plastics: We are currently working with a coalition of local environmental groups to raise awareness on the adverse effects of single-use plastics in our marine environments. We are also actively monitoring local policies pertaining to plastics and we are working with our corporate sponsors to minimize their reliance on plastic products. There are numerous volunteer opportunities and you do not need to be a plastics expert to get involved. We encourage you to learn more about RAP at http://www.riseaboveplastics.org/.
- Snowrider Project: The Snowrider Project was established to bring greater understanding of the hydrological cycle (the foundation for the intimate environmental connection between snow, land and surf) and to foster a sense of stewardship towards alpine and valley ecosystems. Our Snowrider Project committee works on the local mountains to educate the ski/snowboard community about the connections between our mountain watersheds and our oceans. If you’d like to help protect our mountains in addition to our oceans, waves and beaches you can learn more at http://ww2.surfrider.org/snowrider/.
- Respect the Beach: Our Respect the Beach education team is currently working on updating the Surfrider Foundation’s Respect the Beach lesson plan to reflect local issues associated with beach and watershed dynamics. This educational guide for elementary students is geared toward educating the next generation in environmental issues critical to Surfrider’s mission. Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about this program or assisting with its development. For more information please see http://www.respectthebeach.com/.
- Beach and Mountain CleanUps: Throughout the year we organize several beach and mountain cleanups to raise awareness and provide an opportunity for the community to see the impacts of human development first hand. The trash collected at each cleanup is then sorted and the data is entered into our database so we can better understand which sources are the most detrimental to our local marine environments.
Check out the chapter's Vimeo channel.
You can contact the Vancouver Chapter via email at email@example.com
The Vancouver Island Chapter works to create a legacy committed to the protection and preservation of Vancouver Island coastal ecosystems through the education and mobilization of like-minded, coastal-conscious individuals.
The Vancouver Island Chapter organises monthly beach cleanups in the Greater Victoria and hosts information tables at community events.
Check out the Vancouver Island Chapter blog at http://vancouverisland.surfrider.org/category/blog/
You can contact the Vancouver Island Chapter via email at firstname.lastname@example.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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