Located on the south coast of British Columbia, the Strait of Georgia, northern arm of the Salish Sea, is one of the most biologically rich marine ecosystems in the world. It is home to some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring creatures – orca and humpback whales, giant octopus, great blue heron and a diver’s paradise of glass sponge reefs to name a few.
It is a place of spectacular beauty, with soaring mountains, remote inlets, vibrant islands, and abundant watersheds, stewarded for millennia by coastal First Nations and loved and relied on by communities today, from small island villages to Canada’s third largest urban centre, Vancouver.
But the Salish Sea is a region that is under threat from a growing and increasing complex set of factors. Population growth, urbanization and climate change, along with growing social inequities, are putting increased pressures on both ecosystems and communities.
Georgia Strait Alliance (GSA) is dedicated to the protection and restoration of this place that almost nine million people and 3000 marine species call home, and that has been stewarded by Indigenous people since time immemorial. As our name implies, GSA’s work is built on the principles of collaboration working with coastal communities, building and activating community power and fostering systems transformation by focusing and deepening our advocacy and campaigns to centre equity and be community-led. This approach is focused on ensuring that strong environmental protections are in place and that governments are held to account for their actions or inactions in the Salish Sea region.
Grounded in environmental justice, we mobilize and support collective action for the protection of a Salish Sea teeming with life where thriving and just communities live in balance with the environment.
For more than 30 years, we have been using advocacy, stewardship, legal action and collaboration to make an impact on the health of this region. Here’s how:
Healthier waterways – GSA led the way to reducing water pollution from the pulp and paper industry, undertreated sewage, household chemicals, oil spills, and boating contaminants, leaving the Salish Sea more beautiful and safer for all to enjoy.
Protected species – Southern Resident orcas, wild Pacific salmon and other species are better protected by improved legislation and decreased threats, thanks to GSA’s legal advocacy, environmental stewardship and cross-sector collaborations.
Empowered communities – People in communities across the region have the knowledge and tools they need to deepen their understanding of the value of the Salish Sea and take action using their own voices to make ecosystems healthy for people who live around the Strait.
Local climate action – Human-induced climate change is a global crisis with local impacts for the communities of BC. GSA helps people understand what is happening, what can be done, who is responsible, and realize that they themselves have the power to achieve the solutions so desperately needed.