Marine Protected Areas
Join Expeditionist Susan Conrad on her journey and get matched up to a total of $10,000 USD!
In 2020, the federal government promised to protect 30% of Canada’s marine and forest ecosystems by 2030, but to date only 6% of Canada’s oceans are designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). That’s why Susan Conrad is raising awareness around MPAs with her incredible journey.
Susan Marie Conrad is the author of several books about the Inside Passage of British Columbia. Susan, a resident of the San Juan Islands, along with her partner, Ben Wells, have been longtime supporters of Pacific Wild’s marine conservation campaigns. And no campaign is closer to their hearts than the work to create a network of Marine Protected Areas throughout the Great Bear Rainforest, a region that stretches from the north end of Vancouver Island to Haida Gwaii.
Susan is — while you read this — on an epic solo kayak expedition from San Juan Island to Sitka. Between June 8 to 22 she will be paddling through the Great Bear Rainforest, and documenting her travels on our new ArcGIS story map. We are tapped into her Garmin InReach device, and our data partner, Strigo Mobile, has provided Susan with a small but powerful unit that will allow her to send data and images from the field via the Strigo mobile satellite network.
Pacific Wild’s marine campaigners have been involved in the efforts to protect this incredible marine region since discussions began in 2011. Staff work on regional committees in a process that involves 17 First Nations, provincial and federal governments, private and business stakeholders, and non-profit organizations. We are honoured to do this work, work that bends over a significant arc of time and raises the profile of individual First Nations and Indigenous stewardship principles across the B.C. central coast.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are created to reduce the impact humans have on specific areas, and can reduce pollution, help with climate change goals, and reduce pressures from overfishing. Studies have shown that biodiversity in MPAs around the world has rebounded even faster than was expected, spilling over into non-protected areas and even increasing fishing catch and value for the economy.
From puffins in the Scott Islands to humpbacks bubble feeding, from surf scoters diving for herring in the millions to coastal sea wolves and spirit bears feasting on the shoreline and in rivers, Pacific Wild elevates the research and science happening in proposed MPAs, and shows why it matters — what MPAs mean to biodiverse ecosystems protection, and how their protection puts humans inside the circle of interconnected species, as an equal, rather than a dominant species looking out only for our own narrow – and perilous – interests.
Susan’s partner, Ben, is so inspired by her commitment to marine protection, and by Pacific Wild’s work in marine conservation — both at the table and in the field — that he stepped up and offered $10,000 towards a matching fundraising campaign taking place during Susan’s journey.
Please donate today. Every gift will be matched by Ben, up to a total of $10,000.
*Share your love for marine conservation by donating and/or commenting about a trip you’ve made, an animal, bird, or fish you love, whether you’re a kayaker like Susan (or a lawyer, like Ben, who fights for everyday people every day), or just pass along a word of encouragement for Susan.
Every donor in this campaign will be automatically entered for a draw for a complete set of Susan’s books, plus the book Great Bear Wild, and a calendar of Ian McAllister’s images for 2023.