Banner Photo: Howe Sound Community Forum, April 26, 2019, at Camp Fircom, Gambier Island. (Credit: Kyla Hemmelgarn)

2020 Rating

2020 Rationale

Recent accomplishments suggest positive improvements, but a need for continued collaboration and communication is essential.

2017 Rating

2017 Rationale

Despite consensus that Howe Sound needs a comprehensive plan to direct stewardship and growth, efforts to establish such a strategy continue to be hampered by competing jurisdictions, a fragmented regulatory framework and the absence of agreement on the process and leadership. Howe Sound remains vulnerable without coordinated action.

The following is an excerpt from the full updated article. Download the full 2020 article for all content and references.

Comprehensive Planning: progress continues but collaboration remains key

Author: Ruth Simons, Executive Director, Future of Howe Sound Society, Lead of Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative
Reviewer: Kate-Louise Stamford, Islands Trust Trustee

Excerpt from 2020 article

Since 2017, there has been encouraging progress towards a comprehensive plan that will direct stewardship and growth for Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound. Defining the boundary for the Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound region is an important step to allow further planning to occur. Several important tools have either been developed or are in progress.

Read the full article to see what else is happening.

Background: Local governments and many organisations are working together to protect beautiful Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. (Credit: Amanda Weltman) 

What’s been done since 2017?

The table below reports on progress made on recommended actions from the previous 2017 article, where identified. Many of these require ongoing action.

2017 Action Action Taken
Government Action and Policy
Undertake/collaborate on comprehensive marine and land use planning for Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. Progress has been made, as detailed in the “What is the current status” section (see Full Article).
Participate in the Howe Sound Community Forum meetings. Local municipality representatives attend the HSCF meetings.

What can you do?

A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities. In some cases, no progress was identified on previous recommended actions; these remain listed below. Additional actions marked as NEW also follow.

action-individual Individual and Organization Actions:

    • Engage and contribute to your Regional Plans and Official Community Plans (OCPs); they always include public input!
    • Encourage your OCP to consider how impacts of growth, development and zoning relate to the whole of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound (Transportation is a perfect example. Moving from Squamish to Vancouver on transit means passing between BC Transit authority and Translink’s authority. Efficient services suffer because neither authority is focused on the Squamish to Vancouver commuter).
    • Work to make Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound live up to your own vision for the area. You can, for example, join and follow one of the many non-profit organizations focused on Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound conservation and protection. Volunteer for restoration programs, such as the wetland work on the Squamish foreshore, or work with local conservancies to improve trails. Give your time to marine groups who are looking to citizen vigilance to monitor illegal fishing or trapping. Attend events and learn about the diverse communities around the Sound, starting with First Nations and their history and culture.
    • Experience the awesomeness that is Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound! Get on a boat and experience the sound from the water. Hike a ridge or kayak the new Sea to Sky Marine Trail.

action-governmentGovernment Action and Policy:

    • Recognize the value of ecosystem services in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound when considering the best allocation, use and regulation of Crown Land, foreshore and marine areas.
    • NEW Consider new/revised governance options to strengthen local government regional coordination and representation on Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound-wide planning and development issues.
    • NEW Maintain an inventory of reports, plans and strategies on Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound ecosystems and make them publicly available.
    • NEW Fund increased regional marine planning capacity for Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound as a bioregion.
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