My visit with Raincoast in the Great Bear – guest blog from Dean Azim

Amazing. The most overused word in my current vocabulary. Every day at the Raincoast Field Station has been absolutely amazing. I feel as though every Canadian should have a right of passage of sorts, to experience this coast in person. It’s a place near impossible to translate through photos or words. Its a wonderland of smells, sounds and sights. The topography of Roscoe’s Yosemite-like canyons springing from the water to the ragged and rugged outer islands of Goose and Calvert. Days blend into nights and back again, you want to be awake for every minute of it. You couldn’t experience all that this coast has to reveal in a lifetime.

The Great Bear Rainforest is Canada’s crown jewel. This is the cornerstone of Canada’s west coast ecology. This is the place we must save. There are those here trying to make a difference, to understand and communicate the balance that exists. The Coastal Guardian Watchmen, QQS, and the folks here at the station are a few I have met. These are the people that have to prove what most of us think is obvious. They need to do the science to get results, to change legislation, to instate protection. Kyle, Christina, Chris, Doug, Harvey, and Howard do the grunt work to ensure people like me have a place to come and take photos of grizzlies, wolves and whales. They create a library of data by using a little barb wire, some smelly fish juice, and sweat. Lots of sweat and effort. They make science interesting, they eat, breathe and sleep ecology; they understand the connection each has to the other. These are the people we should all be thanking.

I have seen more natural splendour and met more great people in the last 7 days than in the past year. I have got to learn just a little of what this place means to the Heiltsuk and I can not wait to come back and attend the kids summer camp (Koeye Camp). Thanks to all for this experience and allowing me access to this amazing places!

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Our new mobile lab will enable the Healthy Waters Program to deliver capacity, learning, and training to watershed-based communities. We need your support to convert the vehicle and equip it with lab instrumentation. This will allow us to deliver insight into pollutants of concern in local watersheds, and contribute to solution-oriented practices that protect and restore fish habitat.

Sam Scott and Peter Ross standing in front of the future mobile lab, which is a grey sprinter van.