Marine Baseline Data Collection

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To inform management of marine ecosystems

Time Frame


General Location

Lamalchi Bay, Shorelines of Penelakut, Thetis and Galiano Islands, Subtidal areas between islands

Recording the shoreline at low-tide

The Penelakut Tribe culture and history is deeply tied to the marine world in all that it provides. Over the last several hundred years, the marine areas within the territory have become gradually more polluted and over exploited; the species and marine features that are a part of Penelakut culture are at risk of being lost. There is hope however, through combining Traditional Ecological Knowledge with modern tools of western science.

By listening to knowledge keepers and elders about how the environment used to be, and then measuring the environment as it is now, we can compare the impacts that have occurred which is a step towards repairing those impacts.

Trapping to look for the presence of invasive shore crabs

By collecting baseline data like this, this helps the Stewardship Team map out the areas that would be most sensitive to an environmental disaster. For example, should an oil spill occur, knowing ahead of time what the highest priority areas are means oil response teams can target those areas first for protection or remediation, rather than guessing.

Downloading data from a marine sensor

Similarly, over time we can see the change of where species roam, which can prove the success of restoration projects – for example observing an increase in biodiversity near a planted eelgrass bed. Or a change in species may indicate environmental problems – by using remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV’s), we can survey areas of intense large boat traffic to measure the impact of having anchors being dragged through important deep prawn and shellfish habitat.


Interested in how we are working to better understand the many ecosystems within Penelakut Territory?