Islands in Trust

Imagine a greenbelt roughly the size of Prince Edward Island between Metro Vancouver and southern Vancouver Island - but saltier. Here a unique federation of islands staves off the unbridled development pressures of its metropolitan neighbours. The BC government of British Columbia enacted the Islands Trust Act to protect this unique part of the world. Much as the Agricultural Land Commission was set up to protect farmland in BC, and around the same time. This remarkable area is home to an exceptional variety of species of birds, fish, intertidal life, wildlife and plants. Outstanding scenery and recreational resources include panoramic viewpoints, sheltered bays with secluded beaches, protected marine waterways and anchorages and pastoral vistas. The islands also support strong communities characterized by a mix of lifestyles, livelihoods and individuals. Island residents join together to bring special skills and viewpoints to sustain a tradition of community involvement.

The Act also established the Islands Trust Conservancy, the arm of the Islands Trust that holds conservation covenants and nature reserves in support of the Islands Trust's goals. Take a Tour here.

Bowen has been a municipality within the Islands Trust area for over 20 years now. For many it is far less visible. Yet it continues to provide an extra layer of nature protection and sustainability, including direct benefits to Bowen.

More about the Islands Trust

Detailed Bowen Maps: an example of a local benefit

Accurate mapping, from ecosystems and water resources to community infrastructure and property boundaries, is very important to all communities. We bene!t from inclusion in the Islands Trust ESRI software licence and other digital mapping tools.

Ecosystem Mapping: another local benefit

Careful mapping of ecosystems bene!ts a community like Bowen Island that values its scenic beauty and relies on natural forests, wetlands, lakes, and streams for our water supply.
With this knowledge, municipal planners, developers and landowners alike can adjust our built infrastructure and limit impacts on the natural systems that sustain us.
Eelgrass is a sensitive ecosystem that marine wildlife depends on. Dubbed ‘the baby salmon highway’, eelgrass ecosystems serve as nursery habitat, providing food and protection for over 80% of commercially important !sh and shell!sh species at some point in their lifetimes.

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A sculpin in a bed of eelgrass at low tide.

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Map showing locations of eelgrass along part of Bowen’s coast.
More about eelgrass and eelgrass mapping