MARINE STEWARDSHIP OVERVIEW
Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) Society’s Marine Stewardship Initiative is coordinated by Sabina Leader Mense and has been researching the marine environment of Cortes Island and environs since 1995. A comprehensive overview of our work from 1995 to 2020 is included here, in MSI Historical Timeline (pdf file).
FOCI ‘s marine stewardship initiatives fall under five program categories:
I. Cortes Island Foreshore Monitoring Program; 1995 to present:
i. Adopt-A-Transect Project; 2006 to present
II. Sensitive Marine Habitats Program; 2000 to present
i. The 3 Reefs Project; 2000 to present
ii. BC Coastal Seagrass Stewardship Project/Seagrass BC; 2002 to present
iii. Coastal Sand Ecosystem Project; 2018 to present
III. Subtidal Biodiversity Program; 2015 to present
IV. Forage Fish Program; 2019 to present
V. Community Marine Outreach Program; 1995 to present
Throughout our marine stewardship initiatives (MSI), we prioritize youth engagement through a program called Youth Working for Nature. Youth are engaged in field research: monitoring, mapping, restoration, species inventory and report writing/presentation, and community marine outreach like interpretative signage and displays field trips.
Gigi McQueen’s ink drawing, featured above, is just one example of the impressive artwork contributions made by local youth. Gigi’s artwork, “Under the Sea,” was inspired by a low-tide exploration of Sutil Point Reef, one of the sensitive marine reefs featured in our Three Reefs Project.
Each of our MSI programs boast a bold black & white logo, posted on the MSI homepage and created by Jessi McGregor in 2015, to celebrate 20 years of marine stewardship work on Cortes Island. Coming soon is the next bold logo, to celebrate our newest initiative: Forage Fish Program!
In 2020 we collated, for the first time, an inventory of marine species observed to date on or around Cortes Island. We were inspired by the IMERSS Biodiversity Informatics Working Group in the southern Salish Sea and are excited to now have a baseline inventory collated of just over 500 marine species! This is a great starting point for referencing our future work to, not to mention the opportunity to brush up on our marine taxonomy! Check out the master inventory here: Marine Inventory Cortes Island (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.