Bowen Island Marine Atlas

Scaled Marine Atlas map of Bowen Island
Scaled map of Bowen Island, taken from the Marine Atlas

What is the Marine Atlas?

The primary purpose of the Marine Atlas is to catalyze conversations about the marine world around Bowen Island. When we started work on the project, in January 2019, we wanted to be able to answer questions like:

  • How did First Nations people use Bowen Island before white settlers came?
  • Where do winter sea ducks congregate?
  • In which streams do salmon spawn? What kind are they?
  • What whale species swim past our shores?
  • What best practices can protect our beaches, eelgrassbeds, and salmon spawning beds?
  • Who are the local environmental stewards advocating for the things nature needs?

With the publication of the Marine Atlas in the Spring of 2020 we now have a source of reliable information to answer questions like these, about our local shores and marine environment. And it’s the result of tremendous effort by many Bowen Islanders. The Marine Atlas was intended, right from the start, to be “by the community for the community“.

56 pages long, it’s full of interesting and useful information about the marine environment that surrounds us.

How did the Atlas come about?

The Bowen Island Conservancy and its partners launched a project in January 2019 to publish, by mid 2020, a Bowen/Nexwlélexm Marine Conservation Atlas to foster public awareness of, and engagement in, local marine conservation issues, and to celebrate the recovery of our marine neighbourhood. We launched this project because, although we’re an island community defined by the waters that surround us, there had been no such telling of our marine story.

The Atlas was developed out of the input of many voices: layers of scientific data, overlaid by local knowledge from citizen scientists, fishers, divers, and Traditional Knowledge from Coast Salish members. It addresses multiple themes, illustrated with maps, text, and photos.

We held an Open House in October 2019, to gain community feedback and input.

Thanks to our donors

We are very grateful to our donors for their significant contributions that made development of the Marine Atlas possible:

  • Private individuals
  • The Ngan Page Family Fund
The front cover of the Marine Atlas

Get your copy

You can purchase your copy of the Marine Atlas for $30 at Phoenix, in Village Square.

If you don’t live on Bowen Island we can send you a copy. Send us email and we’ll contact you to work out the details.

You can also download a PDF copy of the Atlas by clicking on the image above.

Thoughts from David Suzuki

The Marine Atlas of Nex̱wlélex̱wem/Bowen Island is a wonderful result of community effort. You should be very proud of it. I believe a huge part of solving the environmental crisis is for people to stay put and celebrate where we are on this planet because it’s what we love and are proud of that gives us the motive to fight to protect it.” — David Suzuki

Photo gallery