"The ocean drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. However, at the current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters owing to pollution, and ocean acidification is having an adversarial effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is also negatively impacting small scale fisheries.
Saving our ocean must remain a priority. Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced and regulations need to be put in place to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification." - UN Sustainable Development Goal / Oceans
In 2020 Spirit Bear Lodge (SBL) along with nine other wilderness tourism operators that work in the Great Bear Rainforest were part of an incredible marine debris clean up. For almost 30 days straight SBL staff walked the rugged coastline of the Kitasoo Xaixais territory picking up garbage, cutting and removing ropes and old fishing nets. Collectively we removed a grand total of 127 metric tons of marine debris this summer.
Read more about this experience here.
Spirit Bear Lodge has partnered with North Coast Cetacean to begin to photograph and identify marine mammals in the Kitasoo/Xai'xais territory. We are learning more about the humpbacks, orcas and other marine mammals by beginning to document who and what we see on our trips out with guests. We know that this is a very important way to connect with these incredible beings and ensure their habitat is protected and taken care of forever. By sharing this project with our guests we share a connection that we hope people take home with them and make everyday decisions that have a positive impact on our waterways across the globe.
The Kitasoo/Xai'xais Stewardship Authority is responsible for planning, managing and protecting Kitasoo/Xai'xais lands, waters and resources.
A Marine use plan for the territory was developed between 2007-2010. Marine Use Plan
In 2020 the KX Stewardship Authority also released the Herring Management PlanKitasoo/Xai'xais Herring Management Plan
We are grateful to work with MERS for our staff training programs, they offer current research and impact education targeted at wildlife viewing operations. This ensures our behaviour around marine mammals is considerate and safe. We donate a package to Spirit Bear Lodge to MERS annually for their largest fundraiser, their online auction.
The Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Watchmen Program was developed to steward, monitor and sustainably manage traditional lands and waters, and ensure activities and practices within these territories are consistent with community plans and government regulations. The Kitasoo/Xai’xais Guardian Watchmen are a part of the larger Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network.
The Kitasoo/Xai’xais Watchmen regularly patrol Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory monitoring tourism, commercial and recreational fisheries, forestry, assist with research programs, and educate visitors to the Great Bear Rainforest. All Spirit Bear Lodge staff are a part of the watchmen program by being the eyes and ears in the territory to ensure its protection. Spirit Bear Lodge donates annually to fund operational costs of the watchmen program and provides logistical support.
Above and Beyond to Support Coastal Communities