The provincial government and 18 First Nations groups are seeking public input on the Haida Gwaii Marine Plan initiative, which is to be completed as part of a broader undertaking this June.
The ‘MaPP’ initiative is a partnership between the province and First Nations groups, including the Haida Nation, to “create plans for marine uses and long-term ocean health on the North Pacific Coast”, a press release from the province states.
The Haida Gwaii plan area includes the communities of Old Massett, Masset, Port Clements, Skidegate, Queen Charlotte and Sandspit. The complete study area encompasses approximately 102,000 square kilometres that stretches along 66 per cent of B.C.’s north coast.
The plan as it exists, which is proposed to cover the lands and areas where the provincial government has legal jurisdiction, was created with input from the Haida Marine Work Group and the Haida Gwaii Marine Advisory Committee, as well as a scientific and technical advisory committee.
The drafters of the plan are encouraging anyone with a vested interest in the ocean environment, or “if your living depends on the ocean” as outlined in the release, to have their say in four upcoming public meetings which include at the Sandspit Community Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 14, at the Old Massett Community Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 15, at the Skidegate Community Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 16 and at the Port Clements Community Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 17.
Some common issues addressed in the plan include climate change and ocean acidification, marine pollution, marine protection, fisheries products and marketing, recreational fishing, tourism, forestry, renewable energy and research/monitoring according to the MaPP website.
More details for these upcoming meetings can be found online at mappocean.org/haida-gwaii/draft-plan-for-input/ or at haidanation.ca.