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The Toquaht people have lived in respectful harmony with the sea and coastal environment of their traditional territory for thousands of years. 

Guided by the principle of hišuk ma c̓awaak, which means everything is one, we recognize the importance of monitoring the health of the plants and animals that inhabit Toquaht land and waters.

This monitoring informs our sustainable use of natural resources, balancing economic growth with preservation for future generations. Toquaht Nation actively monitors the ecosystem, climate change impacts, and the cumulative effect of human and natural changes to inform our natural resource management and economic planning.

This information also provides us with a baseline for responding to potential environmental emergencies.

Our Marine Stewardship Coordinator is responsible for conducting patrols of Toquaht lands and waters, observing and monitoring wildlife and sea creatures, such as fish, whales, and shellfish. They are also responsible for identifying and reporting any illegal activities, such as hunting or harvesting marine life, to the proper authorities, such as RCMP and/or conservation officers.

Duties of the Marine Stewardship Coordinator include:

  • Patrolling the Toquaht hahuułi and educating guests on the Toquaht Nation and its laws.
  • Monitoring hahuułi for illegal activities and enforcing laws related to natural resources.
  • Collaborating with other Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, federal, provincial, municipal, and other local community service providers.
  • Working actively with the Coast Guard and others to keep people safe on the water.

Marine Stewardship Monitoring Program

Our marine stewardship monitoring program takes a holistic approach to observe and collect data on the entire coastal ecosystem, rather than focusing on one particular species at a time. We combine traditional knowledge with western science to gain a comprehensive understanding. 

Having identified some priority ecosystem components, we have successfully secured funding and formed partnerships for the following projects: 

Salmon habitat restoration 

Our territory is home to many river systems, but Toquaht River and Maggie River are two significant salmon habitat systems. Our restoration efforts involve assessing the fish habitat, as well as the forest and wetlands in the riparian areas along the river banks. We also mitigate the impacts of roads, culverts, and landslides to ensure the health of these river systems.

We monitor the return of salmon (escapement) on the Toquaht River to understand the health of past and future salmon populations, as well as the environmental stressors that impact our rivers.

Monitoring fish and coastal habitat

We work with various partners to conduct surveys and monitoring of our marine ecosystems. Through our partnership with the Maa-nulth Nations, Ucluelet Aquarium, Redd Fish Restoration Society, and Parks Canada, we survey kelp and eelgrass. This monitoring helps us understand the abundance and health of our fish populations, informing effective decision-making on management and conservation.

In addition, we collaborate with Maa-nulth Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) to conduct herring surveys. We also work with other Maa-nulth Nations and the NTC to carry out surveys of various shellfish, including bivalve, urchin, crab, and abalone.

Terrestrial wildlife monitoring 

To help promote the conservation and protection of wildlife on Toquaht Lands, we closely monitor the sighting of elk, deer, bears, and wolves. We then share this valuable information with our partners, which include the Maa-nulth Nations, Wildsafe BC, and the Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship.

Contact Information for Monitoring Efforts

For more information or to participate in monitoring efforts, please contact: 

David Johnsen
Director of Lands, Public Works, and Resources