"How inappropriate to call this Planet Earth, when it is quite clearly Ocean." Arthur C. Clarke

"How inappropriate to call this Planet Earth, when it is quite clearly Ocean." Arthur C. Clarke

"How inappropriate to call this Planet Earth, when it is quite clearly Ocean." Arthur C. Clarke

"How inappropriate to call this Planet Earth, when it is quite clearly Ocean." Arthur C. Clarke



Community Marine Outreach Program

As an island community, Cortesians are especially receptive to learning about and stewarding their local marine environment. For 25 years (in 2020), FOCI’s Community Marine Outreach Program has offered Islanders exciting and engaging opportunities to learn about their marine environment and to “get their feet wet” while exploring the diversity of marine habitats that make up their “front yard.”

Dock talks, beach walks and tidal talks, youth marine science camps, oceans and arts workshops, marine educational resources, subtidal Sundays, EcoLab treasure hunts for forage fish eggs, guest speakers, Tideline articles and natural history displays bring people together in conversation around marine conservation and into their marine environment.



We started off, way back in 1995, with the printing of Ocean Oracle and popped one copy into every Cortes mailbox that year. Check out this “historic” document here: Ocean Oracle (pdf).

The Marine Alphabet, originally written for a Cortes Island Museum’s display celebrating Manson’s Landing Provincial Marine Park in 1998 (Year of the Oceans), created an especially popular learning platform. Download a copy of Marine Alphabet and print it out for your next family low tide investigation!

Every summer, for the past several years, FOCI has offered the opportunity to “Gumboot the Lagoon” together with a marine enthusiast; hands-on, experiential marine science education in Manson’s Lagoon Provincial Marine Park. Check out Current Events on the FOCI home page for upcoming scheduled summer events.

The best educational experiences in our local marine environment happen when you VOLUNTEER for one of our educational or research programs; just call the FOCI office anytime (250-935-0087, leave a message) and we will accommodate YOU!!!

Our ongoing Marine Citizen Science programs offer learning opportunities:

  1. Join Team Sweevy in documenting spawning forage fish on Cortes shorelines; read about it in this Tideline (Cortes Island community website) article: Team Sweevy (pdf).
  2. Check out FOCI’s April 2021 invitation to join the sea star wasting program, in conjunction with Quadra Island’s Hakai Institute Hakai/FOCI Sea Star Wasting Primer (pdf).

In 2018, FOCI joined the Cortes Wild! Partnership, to promote ecoliteracy on Cortes Island. FOCI joins partners – Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society, Linnaea Farm Society, Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping, and Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society – in hosting a natural history centre at the Linnaea Education Centre. In 2019, the Cortes Wild! Partnership doubled their area with the addition of the EcoLab, an interactive space set up for hands on, microscopic investigation of the wonders of the natural world!

The original Marine Alphabet is displayed here; and FOCI has designed recent displays to celebrate the marine themes of eelgrass, subtidal biodiversity and the humpback comeback to local waters.

In the spring of 2019, we invited marine colleague, Jackie Hildering (AKA, The Marine Detective) to present on the Marine Education & Research Society’s (MERS) latest research into our local humpback whales. Pictured below is Jackie receiving a blue whale stamp hand cancelled at the Whaletown Post Office; Jackie’s first visit to historic WHALEtown! We created the Cortes Wild! Humpback Comeback display to capture Jackie’s presentation.

The Cortes Wild! photographs here are included to encourage you to visit Wild Cortes, the Cortes Island Museum satellite natural history centre. This exhibit hours of operation can be found on the Museum’s website.


Join the FOCI family

Become a Friends of Cortes Island member and support the work that we’re doing in the community to help look after our beautiful island.

Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI) is a charitable organization that has been active for over 25 years. Our organization exists to monitor and preserve the health of local ecosystems, and to provide educational programs that foster a greater understanding of the natural environment. Through all of our projects, we work to promote environmental integrity through community responsibility.