Atl'ka7tsem/Howe Sound

Partnering with scientists and local experts, we've created a conservation map displaying Atl'ka7tsem/Howe Sound’s unique marine ecology and recommendations for how to protect it.

Analysis of ecological hot spots

The Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound marine conservation map features more than 140 layers of data, ranging from estuaries to eelgrass, glass sponge reefs to shipping routes, herring spawning grounds to log-sorting sites. You’ll be amazed at what you find here.

But the map does more than show us where species live. Through a computer modelling analysis (Marxan), the Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound marine conservation map shows where marine biodiversity hot spots are and recommends 34 candidate areas for protection and management.

We didn’t make this map on our own. Incredible cooperation with Ocean Wise, scientists, individuals and government agencies helped us put this information on one platform so you can explore marine life, habitat and tidal action. Thanks to everyone involved.

Recovering ecosystem health

One of the southernmost fiords in North America, Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound provides habitat for a range of species and is high in biological diversity. The Sea-to-Sky Corridor is B.C.’s fastest-growing region, putting the sound’s biodiversity under threat.

This conservation analysis should help with the next stage of Howe Sound’s remarkable marine rebirth after decades of pollution from mining, pulp and paper and other industries. Humpback, killer and grey whales, pods of Pacific white-sided dolphins, spawning salmon and herring are returning after decades of low numbers.

“We’re excited to share our work with the community and to discover additional local knowledge about ecological values,” David Suzuki Foundation science projects manager Bill Wareham said. “We’re also hoping to hear residents’ views regarding options for conservation measures in this area that could help ensure healthy marine life for the long term.”

We’re looking to find out more from you and your community about ecological hot spots and areas of interest.

I hope this map helps us take the next step in the great Howe Sound recovery.

Bill Wareham, Science Projects Manager

Marxan analysis for conservation

To identify priority conservation areas we conducted a two-part analysis. First, through the Marxan computer modelling analysis, we identify areas of high ecological value. Then we overlayed these areas with existing or future human activities to identify conservation needs and opportunities.

Acknowledgements

This project was led by a collaborative partnership between Ocean Wise and the David Suzuki Foundation, with the support of the Sitka Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to whom we are extremely grateful.

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