Surge Narrows Community Association

Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping Project participants undertook inventory and mapping on Quadra Island in June 2013. (Photo: Surge Narrows Community Association)

2012
$32,000
To identify, quantify and map terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems of the Discovery Islands and nearby mainland inlets.

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Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping Project

In the past, there was a lack of scientific data to support development and land management decisions in the remote, rural Discovery Islands and nearby mainland inlets of BC's Discovery Passage.

So, in 2012, Surge Narrows Community Association spearheaded the Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping Project (DIEM) to identify, map and analyze data on ecosystems, water resources and enduring natural features.

The DIEM sensitive ecosystems inventory provides community members, land managers and governments with current, comprehensive field-validated information for the region. Analysis of mapped data supports land use planning, sensitive ecosystem conservation and climate change strategies that consider biodiversity and environmental health along with accelerated human demands, and cumulative and climate change impacts.

DIEM ecosystem maps are freely available and can be layered with other data sets useful to planners, developers and the community. Although the maps were only recently completed (early 2014), they are playing an increasingly important role in local issues by providing rigorous scientific data with which to analyze plans and activities, and make informed decisions. 

Custom map views can be created for various uses, and DIEM has shared information with a number of community groups, such as Discovery Islands Marine Tourism (shorelines); Sonora Island residents (engage residents to document old growth logging); Read Island Forest Advisory Committee (analyze proposed woodlot cut-blocks near riparian, old forest and community-valued areas); and Sunshine Coast Conservation Association.

Our grant helped the Surge Narrows Community Association carry out its practical research and education initiative, building knowledge and capacity for informed planning and management of vital landscapes and natural resources throughout the region.