Are You Engaged? Conservation and SKABC

  • Creator
  • #9196
    Roxanne Rousseau

    Hello All, Roxanne (Conservation chair with SKABC) here – would love to form an engaged group of like minded individuals that focuses on conservation. This is a huge topic and by definition conservation can cover the action of preservation, protection or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife. Whew that’s a lot of ground and water!

    So how can one enjoy the fantastic kayaking opportunities the club offers but also include a balanced opportunity to practice conservation and still have fun?

    After the last SKABC meeting held this January several club members expressed an interest in brain storming some ideas. After meeting at the Billy Bishop Pub a few ideas were generated including:

    1. Creating a learning session on invasive plants;

    2. Learning about low impact camping and practicing it;

    3. Planned kayak trips to BC Marine Trail Sites and completing  site evaluation forms – would be great if we could do this for the Howe Sound Marine Trails;

    4. Marine mammal sightings and reinforcing how to report these;

    5. Pit toilets and perhaps other forms of toilet upkeep and who to report to;

    6. Garbage pick up/ tsunami debris pick up; Create an art making session from garbage found on the water;

    7. Participate in the Shoreline Clean Up effort in September;

    8. Finding and bringing in speakers from the conservation community.

    Not a bad start for this grass roots start to engagement!

    IF you are interested in helping to keep this topic hot, fun and sensible let’s chat by forum or email or telephone! Also I am proposing a gathering of like minded individuals for Tuesday 26th of January 2016 at 0700pm at Zawa’s Restaurant located at 920 Commercial Drive. Ride your bike if you can! Bring your ideas! Let’s create some projects and or events!

    PS: In hopes of possible “partnering” with other groups, I have reached out to:

    -The Vancouver Parks Board;

    – The Fraser Basin Council;

    – The BC Marine Trails Network;

    In the past we have connected with Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Vancouver Aquarium for club meeting presentations.

    Anyways  – let’s at the end of all of this be able to say, “Yes I am Engaged!”

    Look forward to hearing and meeting you!

    Bye for now,




Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • Author
  • #10339
    Reed Clarke

    Paddled out of Pender Harbour to Cockburn Beach on Nelson Island, yesterday. I think this would present a very worthy target for a club cleanup.

    Check it out on my blog:

    Jonathan Jacobsen

    Roxanne’s email reminds me to post my thoughts on doing a shoreline clean-up with Great Canadian Shore Line Clean-up, which I was keen on at our last meeting.

    On the plus side, there are lots of pre-defined shoreline areas to choose from with this group, or one can submit a new one (but presumably it goes through a review process and my guess is that a site that is only accessible by kayak might be rejected as being inaccessible to many potential participants).

    However, participation requires counting every item collected and weighing the results. Personally, I think this more than doubles the effort of simply cleaning a shoreline, and reduces the enjoyment. There is undoubtedly some value in the resulting statistics, but…

    So, although I was keen on the Great Canadian Shore Line Clean-up, to begin with, I’m now thinking that simply getting out and cleaning up some shoreline, without official sanction, is simpler and more enjoyable. I’m with Reed on the idea of a trip to clean some area up, if a suitable one can be found, and otherwise, or in addition, I’d suggest that we work on making clean-up a part of every official SKABC trip and training course. If every club trip (and ideally every private one as well), took a few trash bags along and collected at least all the small stuff on a beach or campsite, if not the large items, it would make the site that much nicer for the next group. No matter that a few changes of the tide later brings new stuff; it’s not about perfection or returning the beach to a pristine wilderness state as much as it is just making it a bit better for the next group of visitors, in my view. I think this would provide a great sense of satisfaction, without having to record exactly how many plastic bags and cigarette butts were picked up.

    Perhaps the next step in the above is to present this to the club executive for official endorsement of the idea that every club outing include a clean-up component, and to the trips and training coordinators to include in materials provided to trip leaders and training course instructors. Maybe it should go on kit lists as a standard item.

    I’m going to attempt to put my money where my mouth is and take trash bags on my next paddles and see if I can’t make some small difference.

    As for a clean-up day trip by this group and interested others, I defer back to Reed on finding a suitably garbage-strewn area for us to visit. Happy to join that paddle. What about a tour of a few spots in Indian Arm, like Racoon or Twin Islands? Or surely there is some garbage somewhere in Howe Sound. Maybe the mid-June trip can plan to bring back whatever is found.


    Roxanne Rousseau

    Dear All,

    Due to conflicts with volunteerism (exec meeting on the 23rd of Feb) and conflicts with a proposed date on the 24th of Feb for most people, we will have to reschedule our conservation social meet up for March 22, 2016. I do realize that this is during the Spring Break but I wanted to keep to the third Tuesday of each month.
    This will give me time as well to pull together some topics for the next time we see each other. Some good news is that the Howe Sound trip is coming together for June 15th. I have also received a lot of information regarding Leave No Trace Camping and hope to bring up the topic at the next executive meeting. Finally could we plan a day trip and perhaps look at some measures of garbage documentation and or pickup – Jonathon could we have some ideas?
    Do let me know if you can commit to the 22nd of March 2016 at 7pm at Zawa’s.
    Best wishes,
    Nick Heath

    Already gave another commitment for that evening. I’m sorry to not attend.


    Jonathan Jacobsen

    Hi Roxanne,

    There’s a 50-50 chance I can come Wed eve.


    Sandy Rubin

    Sorry but I can’t meet on Wednesday, Feb 24 as I have another commitment.  Sandy

    Rob Leeson

    Hi Roxanne

    Sorry I can’t make Wed for our meeting.


    Roxanne Rousseau

    Hi Conservation Minded and Engaged SKABC Paddlers! Our next social gathering to enjoy each other’s company and ideas was scheduled for Tuesday February 23rd however a rescheduled SKABC executive meeting is for same date. I would love to build on the ideas momentum generated at our last gathering. I know this is very short notice but would love to meet on Wednesday February 24th at the very accommodating restaurant called Zawa’s at 7pm. Let me know if you can join in? Best Roxanne

    Reed Clarke

    This is just an addendum to my February 2 post.

    I had wanted to put some pictures up to show what I was talking about there. I decided that what I needed was a format where I could both write and show pics. After some poking around, I settled on a freebie blog from WordPress.

    If you go to my blog site, you can see some pics of Ramillies and the obligatory pretty sunset shot.

    Roxanne Rousseau

    Hi All, That’s great news Reed! Nick is it possible to share launch details soon if this day trip is still a go? Thanks!

    Nick Heath

    Good work, Reed! I like the multipurpose format of your proposed trip. Lack of garbage is a plus! Another good venue might be Sir Thomas Lipton Regional Park on Gambier. It’s a little known site with good camping.  We could stop on the way at Flower Islet etc!

    Reed Clarke

    Was going to send this out just to those who attended Roxanne’s Conservation Meeting, last week. Instead, decided to put it on the forum to see if others have any thoughts.

    At the meeting, I put forward an idea for a Howe Sound project. I was attempting to create an activity that would fulfill three objectives: a good deed (or two), self-interest (relevancy to kayaking), and fun. The specific project I presented was a Saturday/Sunday paddle out of Porteau Cove. Saturday: paddle to Ramillies Camp on Gambier Island. At Ramillies, the group would brush out campsites, if needed,  and put up a food cache. Dinner would be a salmon barbecue and beach campfire. Sunday: paddle to Anvil Island and clean up a particularly messy beach (roughly N49 31.532 W123 17.362). Given the potential for sketchy weather in the Howe Sound, the participants would have to be willing to let the event slide until a good weekend forecast appeared. Nick, and his powerboat, would be needed to provide support.

    So, yesterday, I paddled out of Porteau Cove to have a look at conditions in the area. My plan immediately hit a stumbling block. Somebody has cleaned up the beach on Anvil Island. The rotters. What was once an epic litter pile is now relatively clean. There is a large metal thing (no one will move this), the ubiquitous blue float barrel and some styrofoam.

    At Ramillies Camp, things started to look up. The shore here is not horrid, but it definitely could use a cleanup to remove styrofoam and a small piece of plywood. There probably wouldn’t be any need for brushing out more spaces. Nick, Mick and others have done an impressive job at this site. A food cache would be a plus. This part of my plan, at least, is holding up.

    I was beginning to switch to Howe Sound Cleanup Plan 2.0. This would involve going around to several of the campsites on the Sunday, before picking up the styrofoam and blue barrel at Anvil Island. This would be highly relevant to kayakers and would be a fun paddle.

    Unfortunately/fortunately, Plan 2.0 came undone with further paddling to Thornbrough Camp and Islet View Camp. These beaches were clean. This is great news for humanity. Maybe people are slowing down on the beach garbage thing. But, it is bad news for my proposal.

    A further paddle to Zorro Camp didn’t clarify much. There was some garbage here (the pattern seems to be that north facing beaches gather garbage). There were a few bits of styrofoam, a metal bottle opener and a plastic pop bottle. Once I had removed a chunk of styro, the opener and the bottle, there really wasn’t much left.

    I am now left looking for a messy beach, or beaches, that can be combined with a paddle in the Ramillies/Anvil Island area. Failing this, I am going to have to revive another concept, to cleanup a beach on Nelson Island, which I had rejected because of parking issues at Pender Harbour.

    Any ideas or input is certainly welcome.

    Oh ya, and just to rub it in, yesterday was a really, really nice day for paddling in the Howe Sound. Insert ‘cheesy smile’.

    Rob Leeson

    I wasn’t successful in forwarding the TED talks on eliminating plastic bags in Bali.

    Two young girls 10 and 12 years old were sussesful in banning plastic bags in Bali!

    why can’t we do tha t in bc

    Why can’t we do it in BC? Yes we can!

    Check it out!

    Rob Leeson

    Our campaign to ban plastic bags in Bali

    11:00 minutes · TEDGlobal>London

    Plastic bags are essentially indestructible, yet they’re used and thrown away with reckless abandon. Most end up in the ocean, where they pollute the water and harm marine life; the rest are burned in garbage piles, where they release harmful dioxins into the atmosphere. Melati and Isabel Wijsen are on a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too young or you won’t understand,” Isabel says to other aspiring activists. “We’re not telling you it’s going to be easy. We’re telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

    Watch now »

    Roxanne Rousseau

    Hello To All Including John, Shirley, Virginia, Jonathan, Nick, Rob, Reed, Simon and Linda:

    Just wanted to share with you some of the partnerships that could help lead us to a meaningful effort around conservation. I have a table reserved at Zawa’s for the 26th of January and am really looking forward to hosting the night! Please consider the following:

    1. BC Cetacean Sighting Network   – learn about new App for reporting sightings of Cetaceans while kayaking; learn about new App for reporting animals in distress while kayaking; Sharing map with recent sightings from kayakers;

    2. Possible Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Opportunities;

    3. Vancouver Aquarium (who by the way are very much involved with items 1 and 2 above) and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – visit http://www.shorelinecleanup.<wbr />ca/ ; Received some great resources that could help us pull this off  – perhaps in Howe Sound. Also opportunities to assist with tsunami debris cleanup;

    4. Birdwatching/counting off shore for Bird Studies Canada and Coastal Waterways – possible partnerships in Boundary Bay; Possible partnership with Nature Vancouver;

    5. BC Marine Trails Network Association – stewardship opportunities in the form of site condition reports (SCR’s) and / or site condition field report; plan some trips to the Howe Sound Marine Trail’s campsites;

    6. Received email from John and Tom in Alaska regarding the Island Trails Network Volunteer Application Shuyak Island Community Marine Debris Removal. Great opportunity to travel and help our American friends up north.

    These are just a few ideas for us to share on Tuesday! See you all very soon,

    Your host,

    Roxanne Rousseau




Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • The topic ‘Are You Engaged? Conservation and SKABC’ is closed to new replies.