Banner Photo: Orca Ceremony (Credit: Silke Labson)


Spending time in the outdoors not only boosts mental and physical health, but also gives people a sense of connectedness to nature. With that comes a sense of responsibility and motivation to act as guardians for the environment. In Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound, both interest and participation in outdoor learning and citizen science have been increasing in the last decades. Many schools, universities and organizations using the Sound as an outdoor classroom incorporate Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (TIK) into their programs. TIK enhances participants’ understanding and appreciation of traditional teachings and cultural practices. However, more can be done and continued efforts to incorporate TIK should be prioritized moving forward. Citizen scientists are some of the greatest educators in the Sound. They foster a passion and love for the environment, and readily share that enthusiasm with others during outdoor learning experiences. Citizen science groups are also pivotal in gathering information about species and habitats to address knowledge gaps that government agencies are unable to resource. The dedication of the many passionate community volunteers continues to support actions that improve ecosystems throughout Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. Outdoor learning and citizen science initiatives in the Sound will continue to be very important in protecting the environment, especially in the face of climate change. Put simply, increasing outdoor learning and citizen science opportunities fosters the next generation of environmental guardians.

(NB: An update for Cultural Continuity was not available at the time of release. If an update becomes available, it will be added to our website).

Ocean Watch Rating Legend

Ratings are meant to provide the reader with a visual snapshot summary about the subject.  Subject ratings were assigned based on application of the criteria to the information in each article.

1) The status is healthy according to available data, 2) the trend is positive if known, 3) some data are available, and/or 4) actions to address or mitigate are well underway and are known to be effective. Actions should be taken to maintain positive status and/or trend.

Status, trend, data, and/or actions provide contradictory or inconclusive information. Actions are needed to move into positive status and trend and avoid negative status and trend.

1) Impacts or issues are high risk or have resulted in a low or vulnerable status, 2) improvements are uncertain, minor, or slow, and/or 3) actions to address or mitigate are non-existent, vague, or have low effectiveness. Actions are needed to move into positive status and trend.

Not rated due to the nature of the article, or there are not enough data to produce an assessment.

Sense of Place Ratings

Article & 2020 Rating Rationale

2017 Rating

2020 Rating

Citizen Science

There are a large number of citizen science activities in the Sound.

Outdoor Learning

There are a large number of outdoor educational organizations and opportunities in the Sound, with an increasing emphasis on traditional knowledge.

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