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Some of you may be interested in this which came to my inbox via the BC Outdoor Recreation Council to whom it was originally sent. I didn’t receive the attachments that it refers to, but perhaps they can be accessed elsewhere.
I am reaching out to you today to update you on BC Parks’ Marine Recreation Action Plan. For those who participated in one of the workshops, Sydney Martin – Manager of Visitor Programs – led in January and February 2020 with Indigenous Peoples and key coastal marine recreation stakeholders, this initiative will be familiar to you. These feedback sessions informed the content of this plan that will guide marine recreation management in BC Parks over the next five years. While we all continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to getting this plan into operation and working with you and other interested groups through its implementation.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for attending these engagement sessions. Your feedback was an invaluable part of the plan’s development and highlights from these Marine Recreation Engagement Sessions (2020) (Attachment 1) show where several key aspects were incorporated.
Further input was gathered from multiple BC Parks focus-groups. This input strengthened the marine-specific actions to be as achievable as possible over the next 5 years. Many thanks are due to an Internal Marine Recreation Working Group comprised of many staff that you know and work with on a regular basis – for their part in conducting these meetings and helping refine the plan. Please see Appendix 1 of the plan for a complete list of the members of this group.
The Marine Recreation Action Plan – May 2021 (Draft) (Attachment 2) reflects the significant time invested by coastal Indigenous Peoples, key marine recreation stakeholders and staff: attending workshops, sharing ideas and supporting BC Parks’ marine protected areas.
We are also excited to announce annual funding for the plan from the BC Parks’ Licence Plate (LPP) Program. $100K was allocated to stern tie/mooring buoy plans and benthic assessments as well as marine recreation attendance and gap analysis research in 2021/22. While the timing of the LPP program this year required an expedited process focused on a few existing priorities, issues and opportunities, we encourage you to reach out to BC Parks with your ideas on implementing the plan’s actions in future years with this new funding source.
As well, I’d like to bring to your attention our new A/Executive Director of BC Parks’ Provincial Services Branch, Rumon Carter. We are pleased to have him aboard and his support on the plan’s next steps.
While very little went as planned last year – we are eager to work with you again. Having completed multiple internal and external feedback sessions, we are now looking to move into the implementation phase of this staff plan. If you find significant omissions or errors in your review of the attached draft plan, please reach out to your local BC Parks’ contact(s) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are asking for feedback by June 30, 2021.
While the Marine Recreation Action Plan is an internal document, we will provide you with the final version. Continued collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholder engagement will be key to its implementation.
As you’ll note, the plan is purposely designed as a ‘menu’ of actions which allow the flexibility to establish local and Indigenous priorities and gather the available support needed to initiate projects and activities in coastal marine protected areas. Please reach out to BC Parks’ staff in your area for more in-depth discussions on the plan’s implementation.
Note: As we implement BC Parks’ Marine Recreation Action Plan, we are happy to see the growing focus on BC’s coastal marine environments through the recent commitment in the mandate letter for the Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations for a new coastal marine strategy.
Thank you for your time and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
Assistant Deputy Minister
BC Parks & Conservation Officer Service
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