We offer expert analysis, background briefings, scientific context and opinion writing on the biology, environmental science, and governmental policies affecting the coast of BC including the Great Bear Rainforest and the Salish Sea.

A tiny juvenile Chinook salmon in a viewfinder in the Lower Fraser River.
Photo by Michael O. Snyder.

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For general inquires, contact Raincoast Conservation Foundation Executive Director, Chris Genovali: .

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Peter Ross
Senior Scientist, Healthy Waters Program Director
Ocean pollution, watersheds, whales | More
Valeria Vergara
Senior Scientist, Cetacean Conservation Research Program
Underwater noise and disturbance, beluga whales, Northern Resident killer whales | More
Misty MacDuffee
Biologist & Program Director, Wild Salmon Program
Southern Resident killer whales, Pacific salmon, Fraser River | More
Lance Barrett-Lennard
Senior Scientist, Cetacean Conservation Research Program
Underwater noise, Southern and Northern Resident killer whales | More
Chris Darimont
Science Director, Chair-Raincoast Lab
Human impacts on large carnivores (bears, wolves, cougars, etc.) | More @ChrisDarimont
Paul Paquet
Senior Scientist, Carnivore Specialist
Large carnivores (bears, wolves, cougars, etc.) and wildlife habitat | More
Shauna Doll
Gulf Islands Forest Project Coordinator
Forest conservation and threats to Gulf Islands forests | More
Kristen Walters
Lower Fraser River Salmon Conservation Program Coordinator 
Freshwater habitat, Pacific salmon | More
Chelsea Greer
Wolf Program
Wolves, coastal wolves
Dave Scott
Lower Fraser Research and Restoration
Coordinator for the Lower Fraser Salmon Program
Pacific salmon, salmon habitat, Fraser River | More

Press tip

Peter Ross

Senior Scientist, Healthy Waters Program Director

(250) 217 3755

Dr. Peter S. Ross is an internationally recognized ocean pollution expert, having published over 160 scientific articles and book chapters on pollutants of concern in the oceans, and impacts on fish, seals and whales.

Climate change and water contaminants

Climate change contributes to water contaminants in coastal BC waters in many ways.

Invisible crisis

Since no single agency is responsible for the pollution of water in all its forms, there is an urgent need for a more comprehensive approach to monitoring water pollution in British Columbia – one that seamlessly captures water along its journey from headwaters to homes, street runoff to rivers, and rivers to the ocean. And one that helps to identify solution-oriented priorities for all of us.

A history of incidents in BC underscores the serious threat posed by pollution: 

  • The derailment of nine Canadian National railcars in 2005, resulting in the release of 40,000 L of caustic soda into the Cheakamus River and the deaths of 500,000 salmon and trout.
  • Tire particles, tire-associated chemicals (6-PPD Quinone) and pesticides are entering urban fish habitat and killing salmon.
  • Killer whales in BC’s coastal waters are the most PCB-contaminated marine mammals in the world, highlighting the vulnerability of this salmon-eating predator to the legacy of industrial chemicals.
  • Drinking water is at risk from pathogens, lead (Pb) and disinfection byproducts, with Drinking Water Advisories in place for many communities and Indigenous Nations.

Dr. Ross calls it ‘British Columbia’s Invisible Crisis’, with the contamination of water in all its forms threatening the health of people and wildlife.