Raincoast’s Flagship Projects
Through directed conservation efforts on a number of umbrella species, Raincoast strives to protect all species and ecosystem processes existing along the British Columbia coastline.
We use on-the-ground, peer-reviewed science to further these objectives and more accurately understand the complexities of the coastal ecosystem. By furthering our knowledge base we are better equipped to both influence decision makers and inspire the public in an effort to conserve and protect the wild salmon, grizzly bears, wolves, marine mammals, marine birds, and herring who make this coast their home.
Pacific salmon are an integral component of marine and terrestrial food webs. Our research areas examine salmon as a food source for bears, sea lice transfer to smolts, historic salmon abundance, fisheries models and small streams. We advocate for inclusion of bears in salmon management, reform of fisheries models, removal of open net fish farms, and habitat protection.
Raincoast’s Wolf Project combines field work, cutting-edge scientific tools, and traditional ecological knowledge to conduct rigorous research and advocacy on behalf of coastal wolves. Our collaborative effort among Raincoast scientists, the Heiltsuk First Nation, and several universities is creating new knowledge about this globally unique wolf-deer-salmon system.
The coastal waters of British Columbia support remarkable seabird populations. Marine Bird surveys undertaken between 2005 and 2008 have amassed over 14,000 marine bird sightings with over 70,000 individuals counted and are being used to identify important habitat.
The umbrella species and apex predator, grizzly bears and their habitat in the Great Bear Rainforest represent the southern stronghold of coastal grizzly habitat in North America. Raincoast’s vision is to ensure this stronghold and as such, our work addresses declining salmon resources, habitat loss, trophy hunting, POP exposure, and climate change which impact their survival.
Just recovering from years of exploitation, BC’s marine mammals still face threats to both habitat and food supply. In 2008, Raincoast finished five years of surveys of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals, documenting what is at stake in our waters. We advocate strongly for the conservation and protection of BC marine mammals, in particular the endangered southern resident killer whales.
One of the most abundant fish in BC waters, Raincoast scientists are studying the interactions between Pacific Herring and the coastal food web. Studies include the relationships between herring spawn events and the terrestrial mammals who feed upon them.