The Strait of Georgia and Its Importance
The Strait of Georgia is a productive inland sea around which three-quarters of British Columbia’s population lives. Located between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, the Strait stretches from the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in the south, north to the Discovery Islands and Bute Inlet. The Strait is an extremely rich ecosystem and provides, for example, rearing for juveniles of all seven species of Pacific salmon. The Strait functions as a huge estuary system dominated by the Fraser River and is estimated to support 3000 species in a diversity of marine habitats.
But the Strait and its watersheds face serious environmental problems – many caused by the region’s human population growth and the concomitant urbanization and development, plus extensive resource use. The Georgia Basin area is home to three-quarters of the population of BC, many of whom use the area for a wide variety of recreational and commercial activities. It is also part of a larger ecological zone contiguous with the Puget Sound Basin.