Marine Habitat

Marine Habitat

photo cp Isabelle Groc 
 Harbour seal; photo cp. Isabelle Groc

The Strait of Georgia is among the most biologically productive marine ecosystems in the world.

As the Fraser River and hundreds of smaller watercourses flow into the sea, fresh water mixes with the salt water. This, along with the upwelling that occurs offshore, combine to make the Strait tremendously rich in terms of nutrients – providing critical habitat for a huge diversity of fish, marine mammals, invertebrates, shorebirds and marine plants.

This rich, complex ecosystem is surrounded by a rapidly growing human population. Almost 3 million people — three-quarters of BC’s population — live around the Strait. Add in the population of adjacent Puget Sound, and these figures rise to nearly 6 million today and 10 million expected by 2010.

As a result, there are many threats to marine habitat and wildlife, including:

  • urban sprawl and other development
  • oil spills, toxic chemicals, sewage and stormwater pollution
  • mismanagement of fisheries and marine resources
  • impacts from netcage salmon farming

Follow the links in this section to learn more about our region's rich marine habitat, the wildlife it supports, and how you can help.

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