Raincoast’s Flagship Projects
Through directed conservation efforts on 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, herring, grizzly bears, wolves, marine mammals, and marine birds, 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 and Southern Resident killer whales, juvenile salmon in the Fraser Estuary, and fisheries management. We advocate for inclusion of wildlife in salmon management, reform of fisheries models and management, and habitat protection. We also undertake habitat restoration in the Fraser River estuary.
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.
Gulf Islands Forest project
Coastal Douglas-fir forests and associated habitats are among the most threatened ecosystems in the country. With a limited geographic extent, including only the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and a sliver of BC’s mainland, it is essential that these ecosystems are protected and conserved before it is too late.
Recovering from years of exploitation, BC’s marine mammals still face threats to their habitat and food supply. In 2008, Raincoast finished five years of surveys of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals, documenting their abundance in inside waters. We advocate strongly for the conservation and protection of BC marine mammals, in particular the endangered southern resident killer whales.
The umbrella species and apex predator, Canada’s coastal population of grizzly bears represent the southern stronghold of coastal grizzly habitat in North America. Raincoast’s vision is to ensure this stronghold persists, and as such, our work addresses threats to their survival such as trophy hunting, declining salmon resources, habitat loss, and climate change.
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.
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.