Cortes Island Foreshore Monitoring Program
This long-term environmental monitoring program began with a pilot project in 1995 which identified sites in Cortes Island’s rocky foreshore for monitoring and tested the quadrat methodology designed for rocky shores. In 1996, nine permanent transect lines were established and an additional three added in 1997. These twelve sites were monitored annually for ten years, accumulating an excellent baseline of data for future reference.
In 2006, the monitoring work was handed over to the community. In this citizen science Adopt-A-Transect program, community volunteers adopt a site and collect the data.
Consider joining the monitoring team and adopting a site to monitor annually; you can check out the user-friendly methodology (Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring Process, CIFMP) here: CIFMP Methodology (pdf file).
Cortes Island’s 25 years of data collection at these twelve established foreshore sites represents the most comprehensive foreshore baseline data in the Strait of Georgia; the great work of citizen scientists on Cortes Island!
Safe and long-term data storage is essential for long-term environmental monitoring programs. In 2020, our hard data was transferred to Isobel Pearsall, Manager of the Strait of Georgia Data Center, for digitization and entry into their master data bank at the University of British Columbia. It was a gloves on COVID-19 transfer from the FOCI office onto Isobel’s porch in Nanaimo!
One of the unexpected delights of exploring the foreshore at any tide, is the possibility of finding a fossil specimen of the ancient (130 mya / 130 millions year ago) bivalve clam in the genus Buchia.
In May of 2020, while collecting data at our Coulter Bay foreshore site, our team found a well colonized specimen. Check out the photo to recognize what you are looking for and enjoy some great detective work on your next intertidal foray!
Ed Ricketts is a name that every intertidal aficionado should know: “…a feisty, brilliant and often complex marine biologist.” In 1939 Ricketts published, Between Pacific Tides, an ecological textbook of intertidal marine life that remains in print to this day!
We include here an article written recently that documents sampling Ricketts carried out in our neighbourhood in 1932! Read it here: Edward Flanders Ricketts and the marine ecology of the inner coast habitats of British Columbia, Canada (pdf file).
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.