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Southern British Columbia

The Southern British Columbia (BC) planning area encompasses the Southern Shelf Marine Bioregion and the Strait of Georgia Marine Bioregion. This area of approximately 37,165 km² includes the Canadian portion of the Salish Sea and extends beyond the Strait of Juan de Fuca to encompass the continental shelf waters up to Brooks Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

There is extensive and dynamic economic development in coastal communities and urban areas in this planning area. The planning area holds cultural, social, environmental and economic value at local, national and international scales. Population growth in the area will continue to drive expansion and development. Approximately 70 First Nations have traditional territories and rights-based uses within the planning area. Active sectors include:

The Southern BC planning area includes designated critical habitat for species listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), including Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) and Northern Abalone. Several areas are designated for the protection of migratory birds, including marine birds. Specific to the Salish Sea, the Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report summarizes this important transboundary region.

A marine spatial plan that considers the collective values of the Southern BC planning area and is developed through a transparent and collaborative approach can:

There are numerous existing and planned initiatives, strategies, studies, agreements, committees and projects invested in elements of marine spatial planning (MSP) across the planning area. By working together, we can:


We lead MSP in the Southern BC planning area in partnership with other federal departments and agencies, the Province of British Columbia and Indigenous governments. Stakeholders include :


Priorities for the Southern BC planning area include continuing to:

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