Building Healthy Oceans
Our bold, collaborative approach will deliver lasting results for people and nature along BC's coast.
When the historic Great Bear Rainforest Agreement was established in 2008, it set the stage for our work to reimagine conservation. We knew then that our work in this vibrant ecosystem was only just beginning. Today, we’re building on our legacy of conservation in coastal British Columbia by advancing strategies for a healthy ocean.
A Critical Ecosystem
British Columbia’s marine coast is a critical natural corridor where ocean and land are inextricably connected. Cedars, wolves, grizzly and black bears rely on salmon for survival; First Nations rely on these waters for food, jobs and cultural well-being; industries like fishing and tourism depend on healthy, thriving waters.
Indigenous communities in coastal British Columbia have relied on these waters for thousands of years for food, livelihoods and cultural well-being. Nature United works in partnership with communities here to advance Indigenous-led ocean and land use plans in the region.
In coastal British Columbia and across Canada, Indigenous Guardians are the “eyes and ears” of their territories. They use Indigenous knowledge and practices, blended with western science to monitor and steward their traditional lands.
Industries such as forestry, tourism and fishing contribute almost $14 billion to Canada’s economy. More than 72,000 Canadians make their living directly from fishing and fishing-related activities and over 400 million people depend on seafood as a nutritional source of protein and minerals worldwide.
This region is home to an abundance of wildlife—significant wild salmon strongholds, ancient glass sponge reefs found nowhere else on the planet, endangered yelloweye rockfish and recovering sea otter and whale populations.
Marine nutrients washed ashore are consumed by shoreline plants and scavengers. When herring eggs are washed ashore, they provide nutrients for plants, invertebrates, and even bears. Salmon, returning to their natal streams to spawn, bring the nutrients of the ocean deep into the heart of the rainforest; they feed bears, wolves, and birds, and their remains fertilize the forest.
Today, more people rely on our oceans for food, energy, transport, recreation and other natural resources than any other time in history. These increasing demands, coupled with a changing climate, are impacting ocean health by altering vital habitat, depleting fish stocks and polluting seas.
Without action, the health of BC’s unique and critical ecosystems are at risk.
- Cornerstone species like herring and chinook salmon are in decline.
- Rising boat traffic, expanding ocean industries, and growing coastal developments have placed stress on ocean resources.
- Ocean temperatures are warming and marine heat waves are impacting ecosystems.
- Marine food webs — which affect the health of ecosystems on both land and sea — are changing.
Nature United is tackling these challenges with a bold, collaborative approach to ocean management that delivers lasting results for people, nature and economies. Together with partners, we focus on:
Advancing the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP), a first-of-its kind partnership to support collaborative ocean management and decision-making by First Nations and Provincial governments. Learn how MaPP is setting a new precedent for ocean management.
Developing innovative and collaborative solutions to build more adaptive and resilient fisheries in the face of climate change. Learn more about the astonding potential of nature to address our climate crisis.
Our work in Canada supports healthy oceans and communities along this remarkable coastline, and also builds expertise and leadership for marine conservation efforts in other parts of the world.