BC Marine Trails Network


Mission Statement

To work with First Nations and stakeholders to build, protect and promote a public network of marine trails allowing recreational navigation of the BC coastline with minimal impact on the environment.


2.3 The new end game: The tri-approach philosophy

The BC Marine Trails recently proposed a tri-approach to replace a more formal structure. The three approaches of our organization are:
  • Environmental care;
  • Safety of marine trail users; and
  • Understanding, respect and promotion of local First Nations culture, history, and values.
Three tools have been developed for each of these three approaches:
  • An Environmental Care Program;
  • A Marine Trail Safety Mandate; and
  • A First Nations Engagement Strategy.

2.4 The new end game: natural trails, natural sites

Instead of formally designated sites, this business plan envisions informal sites as the default. BCMT will not approach the site management as owner-operators, but as stewards advocating for the care and protection of sites deemed necessary for the safe transit of the coast.
A proposal is BCMT limit its scope in initial site involvement to the following, as established as a core value in the creation of the Environmental Care Program:
“To the greatest extent possible, BC Marine Trail sites will be left in their natural, unaltered state and will be designed with the smallest footprint possible to accommodate its use.”

Program Details

Caring for our trails Program
The central vision of the BC Marine Trails is to link the entire B.C. coastline through marine routes and land sites for sustainable water-based public recreation. The association and our volunteers value the ecologically diverse environment of coastal British Columbia and efforts to protect it. We also strongly value responsible stewardship practices that benefit the ecologically diverse environment of the British Columbia coast.
The BC Marine Trails (BCMT) recognized the overwhelming presence of plastics, debris, and even industrial garbage along the coastlines of BC often on recreational campsite beaches (or nearby beaches). In 2016 we began a program to tackle this massive problem, especially on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, but also at select interior locations (such as a major cleanup at the Chain Islands near Quadra Island and Campbell River).
The Stewardship Committee, which formed in early 2016 and under the banner of ‘Caring for our trails,’ developed the necessary safety and oversight documents to conduct coastal cleanups, invasive species removal and stewardship maintenance, which have been put into action many times since.
The Caring for our trails program encompasses seven main areas:
  1. Plastics and debris clean up of BC coastal beaches on marine trails and/or at some campsites;
  2. Invasive species removal;
  3. Site Condition Reporting;
  4. Site assessment: Environmental evaluation, impact and protection;
  5. Site maintenance and management;
  6. Volunteer coordination to undertake these programs; and
  7. Public education
The BCMT largely completes the administrative planning of clean ups, invasive species removal, maintenance stewardship and public education during the late fall to mid-Spring. The physical work is completed generally from April to October. Remote physical work is often dependent on outside conditions such as weather or sea state.
Marine Trail Public Safety Program
The Marine Trails Public Safety Program (Safety Program) is run by the BC Marine Trails (BCMT) to ensure safety and continuity of the sustained recreational use of the British Columbia coastline for paddlers through a volunteer-based initiative. The guidelines for public safety are set out in the Marine Trail Safety Mandate included with this application.
The Safety Program consists of five components to ensure the safety of coastal travellers using paddlecraft or small boats:
  1. Trail system safety audits;
  2. Site evaluation/assessment;
  3. Planning with First Nations;
  4. Public site data sharing; and
  5. Public education
This program is separate from and not to be confused with the BCMT trails development work, which involves the construction and development of capital infrastructure such as outhouses and toilets. The BCMT may receive government and/or third-party funding for such site work and it is intended that there is no overlap with nor funds required from this Gaming grant application to facilitate that aspect of BCMT work.
Additionally, any physical and administrative elements of marine trail development outside of the public safety mandate, such as archaeological impact assessments and any on-site work that may be necessary, is not deemed part of this program or the grant application.
Primary Issue
3285 Roper Road
Ladysmith, BC V9G1C4
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