Kelp Monitoring Training Videos: Strength in Data Diversity

[caption id="attachment_5058" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A series of kelp monitoring training videos has been produced.[/caption]

Learn the approach MaPP First Nation Partners are using to study canopy kelp (the uppermost layer of a kelp forest) in the MaPP Region. First Nations are applying a standardized methodology to collect and analyze data in the four sub-regions to find out:

  1. Where the kelp is;
  2. How kelp is changing;
  3. What is causing the kelp to change; and
  4. What else is affected by these changes to kelp.

With canopy kelp functioning as a canary in the coalmine, research is necessary to address the First Nations’ observations that significant declines have occurred in recent years in the distribution, abundance and quality of kelp in their territories. The training videos were produced in collaboration with the Tula Foundation and feature tools, techniques and protocols being used to support standardized kelp monitoring in the MaPP region. The methods shown in the videos are accompanied by a detailed Kelp Monitoring Methods protocol document.

Together with community-based local and Indigenous knowledge, MaPP is generating a bigger picture of kelp historically, today and for future scenarios, as illustrated in our Regional Kelp Monitoring Storymap. As culturally and ecologically significant species, kelp conservation and restoration are essential for food, habitat, improved shoreline protection and increased marine nutrients. Kelp monitoring information, therefore, will be used to inform future management recommendations about protected areas, ecosystem health and marine use.

View the video playlist here.

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A Decade of Collaborative Marine Planning

On June 1, Nature United hosted a celebration for the 10-year anniversary of the world’s first co-led marine planning effort with Indigenous Peoples.

[caption id="attachment_5013" align="aligncenter" width="756"]mapp-group-shot MaPP 10 year celebration, group shot. June 1, 2022.[/caption]

When people come together under a common vision, they can accomplish wonderful things. And the Marine Plan Partnership—or MaPP—is truly a wonderful thing.

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MaPP Launches the Kelp StoryMap

First Nation and provincial partners of the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) are excited to announce the launch of an innovative communication tool, Regional Kelp Monitoring on the North Pacific Coast: A Community-Based Monitoring Initiative to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management, a StoryMap, to share information about their ongoing work to learn about kelp in Haida Gwaii, the North Coast, Central Coast, and North Vancouver Island.

Because kelp is such an important component of the marine ecosystem – culturally, economically, and ecologically – MaPP developed a Regional Kelp Monitoring Project. Each summer since 2017, Guardians have mapped the extent of kelp beds, collected data on kelp density, and assessed the condition of the kelp. The data can be used to inform kelp management as well as other research both locally and globally such as studies on the impacts of climate change.

Visit Regional Kelp Monitoring on the North Pacific Coast: A Community-Based Monitoring Initiative to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management, a StoryMap to learn about the importance of kelp, the MaPP kelp monitoring framework including how kelp is monitored, sub-regional highlights, collaborators supporting data collection, lessons learned, and the vision for the future. Some unique elements of the StoryMap include the First Nations names for different species of kelp, stories from each of the sub-regions about the focus and achievements of the Guardian crews, along with maps and research results.

The StoryMap is expected to be updated annually to share the most recent findings and accomplishments.

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The Nature of Things features the work of NVI Guardians

A recent episode of The Nature of Things on CBC features First Nation Guardians of the MaPP North Vancouver Island Sub-region.

Titled Ice and Fire: Tracking Canada’s Climate Crisis, the documentary describes how citizen science and community-based research is being used to assess how climate change is impacting different parts of Canada. Off the coast of Vancouver Island, First Nations have partnered with the Hakai Institute to monitor and understand the impacts of climate change on kelp. The Tlowitsis and Wei Wai Kum Guardians discuss the MaPP kelp monitoring program, which is also being implemented by Guardian crews in Haida Gwaii, the North Coast and Central Coast sub-regions.

In Knight Inlet, on the BC mainland coast, Dallas Smith, president of Nanwakolas Council, describes salmon habitat restoration efforts to counter the impacts of forestry and climate change, in order to increase salmon populations, and to help grizzly bears survive in the inlet. Guardians of the Da’naxda’xw and Awaetlala First Nations are featured in this work.

Watch the 45-minute documentary by clicking here.

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MaPP featured in latest Coastal Zone Canada Newsletter

We are pleased to announce that the Winter 2022 issue of THE ZONE, the newsletter of the Coastal Zone Canada Association, features a comprehensive overview of the Marine Plan Partnership, titled On the MaPP. The article, authored by Berry Wijdeven (provincial co-lead for the Haida Gwaii and North Coast Marine Plans), was written for an international audience of marine planning practitioners and students.

Coastal Zone Canada is an organization that facilitates the sharing of research, policy, news and management of coastal habitats all over the world. Its biennial conferences attract hundreds of attendees who exchange information about their programs and forge new collaborations to improve Integrated Coastal Zone Management practices across the globe.

Read On the MaPP here:

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MaPP Selected as a UNESCO Ocean Decade Project

The Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) is pleased to confirm it has been endorsed as a UNESCO Ocean Decade project. This is a unique opportunity to partner with scientists and policy makers around the world to address the decline in ocean health and to support the sustainable development of the ocean.

MaPP was recognized as a project that can support the Ocean Decade mission to “catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and the ocean, in order to achieve the Ocean Decade vision of the science we need for the ocean we want” (UNESCO).

The Ocean Decade runs from 2021-2030. During the next decade, MaPP Partners intend to participate with international scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop scientific knowledge and forge partnerships to advance ocean science.

Features of the MaPP initiative that qualified it for the status of Ocean Decade project include our initiative’s commitment to ecosystem-based management, that it is a co-led approach by First Nations and B.C., the inclusion of stakeholders and local governments in the planning process and implementation of marine plans, the focus on sustainability, the vast geographic area covered, and the already-established collaborations with other researchers.

Leaders of the MaPP initiative look forward to exploring opportunities in support of the vision of the Ocean Decade.

For more information, visit


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New article published about stakeholder and public engagement to develop the MaPP marine plans

Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast: Engagement and communication with stakeholders and the public, is a new article published in the journal, Marine Policy, in July 2021.

The authors of the paper are Gord McGee, Josie Byington, John Bones, Sally Cargill, Megan Dickinson, Kelly Wozniak and Kylee Pawluk.
[caption id="attachment_4815" align="aligncenter" width="756"]NC-MPAC North Coast Sub-region Marine Planning Advisory Committee and MaPP Team members (photo credit: Gilian Dusting)[/caption]

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A Family of Graduates

[caption id="attachment_4790" align="aligncenter" width="756"]Nanwakolas Guardians Graduation 2021. Photo credit: Angela Davidson. Nanwakolas Council Guardians Graduation 2021. (Photo credit: Angela Davidson)[/caption]

Nanwakolas Council recently published an article describing the graduation of students from the Vancouver Island University Stewardship Technician Training Program. Since 2016, the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) has supported the Nanwakolas Guardian program to implement objectives and strategies in the NVI Marine Plan.

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MaPP Receives British Columbia Reconciliation Award

On April 26, 2021, the Marine Plan Partnership received the British Columbia Reconciliation Award.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the BC Achievement Foundation Announce Inaugural Reconciliation Award Recipients

 The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, is honoured to announce the recipients of the inaugural British Columbia Reconciliation Award. The award recognizes nine extraordinary individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia, or inspired others to continue Reconciliation efforts.

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New article about the Marine Plan Partnership

“The Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast – MaPP: A collaborative and co-led marine planning process in British Columbia” is an article published in the journal Marine Policy in June 2020.

The authors of the paper are Steve Diggon, John Bones, Charlie Short, Joanna Smith, Megan Dickinson, Kelly Wozniak, Karen Topelko and Kylee Pawluk.

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Marine planning brought to life in new MaPP video

On, over, and under the waters of the North Pacific Coast, a new video from the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) takes you on a magnificent journey into the heart of its work. Travel along as coastal guardians gather data and monitor environmental conditions. Visit the towering kelp forests that support a wide array of biodiversity, including ecologically and culturally important species. Witness young people connecting with their marine heritage. Hear from First Nations and provincial leaders who are working together to protect, conserve, and manage this precious shared resource.

MaPP – The Benefits showcases the spectacular nature of the North Pacific Coast. It also demonstrates that the work conducted during MaPP’s first phase has created a strong foundation. Data collection, fact finding, habitat monitoring, stakeholder engagement, pilot projects, and contributions to other planning processes that are critical to successful future implementation have been established.

MaPP is now poised to move into its second phase of implementation with the goal of creating positive change in coastal communities and ocean health.


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New video: Creating a Protected Area Network for the Northern Shelf Bioregion

A new video developed by the Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative tells the story of collaborative work between First Nations along the North Pacific Coast, and governments of Canada and BC, to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas in the Northern Shelf Bioregion (28 minutes).

To view, click: Creating a Protected Area Network for the Northern Shelf Bioregion

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Helping the Kelp

The giant and bull kelp plants that grace British Columbia’s waters are not only beautiful to look at; they are important indicators of the province’s coastal ecosystem health. First Nations Guardians are part of the vital and exciting work taking place to learn more about them.

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MaPP workshop presented during the 2018 B.C. Seafood Expo in Comox

On behalf of the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP), Dr. Myron Roth, Industry Specialist – Aquaculture & Seafood with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, moderated a workshop for 40 people, Aquaculture Resources for Commercialization. Held on June 11, the workshop was part of the B.C. Seafood Expo, a large seafood industry trade event, held in conjunction with the annual B.C. Seafood Festival in Comox on Vancouver Island.

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MaPP representatives attend the fifth International Marine Conservation Congress


In a panel presentation at the fifth International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5) in Kuching, Sarawak, held June 24-29, 2018, delegates from the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) discussed the transition from marine planning to implementation of the MaPP marine plans. Moderated by Meaghan Calcari-Campbell of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the discussion covered key steps in the planning process, implementation achievements and learning to date, and insights on how the team is overcoming challenges. The presentation was part of a symposium that focused on achievements in governance, marine zoning and protection, stewardship and monitoring, and sustainable economic development.

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MaPP receives H.B. Nicholls Award

In this video John Bones (Secretariat and Nanwakolas Council) accepted the H.B. Nicholls Award given to the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) by the Coastal Zone Canada Association (CZCA) at its conference in St. John’s in July 2018. The award recognized MaPP for the unique partnership between the Government of British Columbia and 17 First Nations […]

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Field orientation in the MaPP North Vancouver Island (NVI) Sub-region: Discussing protection for archaeological sites, opportunities for Aboriginal tourism and economic development

 NVI Field Orientation Oct 2017 from Josie Byington on Vimeo. A very productive field orientation for MaPP North Vancouver Island implementation team members and guests occurred over three days in early October 2017 through parts of the traditional territories of the Mamalilikulla, K’omoks, Tlowitsis and Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nations. Hosted by Chief Richard Sumner […]

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