Salish Sea Community Learning Centre

creating community around our common resource

Our common interest is to protect, preserve, and increase the contribution of our common resource to our community and to our world.

The Salish Sea

A cultural cross road of ancient and modern history, – Juan de Fuca Strait, Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia, – the bodies of water now collectively named the Salish Sea are the ancestral territories of three dozen tribes in Washington and British Columbia. They are the first nations on a coast now populated by seven million people. This ocean is the downstream end of a coastal watershed twice the big of Nova Scotia. From mountaintop to ocean floor more than three thousand species live in the Salish Sea watershed.

Salish Sea Oceancast – Film from the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

The Salish Sea Community

The Salish Sea is surrounded by a population of over 7 million people whose future is dependent on what happens in and around this triangle.

How large is our community of interest in creating a future for the Salish Sea? How large is our community of contributors to creating a future for our Salish Sea? How large a community of contributors to our common enterprise would we like to create?

The opportunity

The Salish Sea could become the opportunity to connect, explore, and learn how we can create community and creative community enterprise around creating a future for our common natural resources

Our common enterprise

Our common enterprise is learning how to create community and creative community enterprise around our common interests and our common resources.

Community learning centres create a place where communities of common interest and common enterprise can connect, explore, learn, and contribute to our ability to create community and creative community enterprise around our common interests.

  • What contributes to and what militates against our ability to create community?
  • What could we do to accelerate our ability to create community and create a culture of community around our common human interests?
  • What could we do to create possibilities for the future of our community as a community?

Community Contributors

Wilderness Committee

For our climate and our waters, there is no border. For too long, the imaginary line drawn on a map between Canada and the United States has kept us battling each of these fossil fuel export projects in isolation from one another. It’s time to unite to expose the big picture and stand in solidarity with Coast Salish Nations and Tribes working to protect their territories.

Let’s draw inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s long tradition of green leadership and show fossil fuel companies that they picked the wrong part of the world to transform into a carbon corridor. Americans and Canadians of the Salish Sea share one coast, one ecosystem and one climate. We are coming together across the border to choose a different future for our region.

The Salish Sea could become a gateway to climate change and turn the tide on fossil fuel expansion.

Wilderness Committee – Save the Salish Sea
Save the Salish Sea Report 2014 – PDF

Wild salmon, and the web of life they support, are in trouble: salmon farming, climate change, over-fishing, and habitat destruction have extinguished over 100 stocks of salmon in British Columbia. Wild Pacific salmon are the lifeblood of the West Coast, supporting Orcas, Grizzlies, other wildlife, forests, First Nations, coastal communities and tourism.

Wilderness Committee – Preserving the Pacific Coast

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

We think the Salish Sea is a place worth conserving and protecting.

The Centre is a catalyst for building a healthy and sustainable environment by engaging people in stories about the science, culture, and traditions of the Salish Sea Bioregion so that we can protect and conserve it for future generations. Our vision is for a healthy and sustainable Salish Sea Bioregion. We create experiences that encourage citizens to learn about, explore and conserve the Salish Sea Bioregion – its wildlife, waters, land, culture, and people.

The Salish Sea is a bio-rich 110,000 square km inland sea and coastal land area of British Columbia and Washington State named for its original habitants, the Coast Salish Peoples, and known for its keystone animals – the Southern Resident Orca and the Grizzly Bear. The Salish Sea Bioregion is a place where the deep Pacific Ocean meets the nutrient laden waters of the great watershed of the Coast Mountains and its largest river, the Fraser, and where rapidly flowing tidal currents create rich ecosystems supporting substantial animal and plant life.

This is a place of significant heritage and culture where people have interacted with the ocean and watershed for thousands of years and a place now home to 8 million people, including over 70 First Nations. It is a place of competing priorities, intricate ecosystems and compelling stories at the crossroads of ancient pathways and new directions.

From a biological point of view, the most productive habitats in the region are estuaries – the places where rivers meet the sea, hundreds in the Salish Sea, and fresh water gradually mixes with salt. As well as being vital for fish and wildlife, salt marshes and other wetland vegetation serve as the “kidneys” of the ecosystem, trapping and holding water and air-borne contaminants such as the sulfur in acid rain.

The Fraser River carries rich silt and fresh water far across the Strait. This 850-mile long river drains over 20 million hectares, one quarter of BC. The Fraser has the largest salmon runs in North America and its estuary is a vital stopover for migrating birds from three continents.

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Salish Sea Institute: Nature in Nature – YouTube

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Protecting, conserving, and restoring our wild Pacific salmon populations and the ecosystems that depend in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory

The Pacific Salmon Foundation, founded in 1987, is a federally incorporated non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their natural habitats in British Columbia and the Yukon. Operating independently from government, The Foundation facilitates dialogue and undertakes positive initiatives in support of Pacific salmon amongst all levels of government including First Nations; as well as industry, communities, individual volunteers and all fishing interests.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation exists to support ‘salmon communities’ in their efforts, promote awareness of this keystone species, and guide the sustainable future of wild Pacific salmon and their habitat.
We are a catalyst – working to accelerate the regeneration of wild Pacific salmon, an invaluable natural resource.

We steward the investment of our available resources – both human and financial – to optimize our collective return. We are a vocal advocate, speaking as the voice of the salmon community to articulate the issues affecting our mandate. With ongoing education, partnership and collaboration, we will positively transform people’s outlook to realize the connection wild Pacific salmon have with everything that is British Columbia.

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Initiatives of the Pacific

Strategic Salmon Health Initiative
Salish Sea Marine Survival Project
Salmon Watersheds Program
Community Salmon Program

Western Washington University Salish Sea Institute

Ocean Networks Canada
Ocean Networks Canada, a consortium of eight Canadian Universities, operates two of the most advanced underwater-ocean observatories, providing data on maritime environments from the salmon-rich Fraser River to the hot vents of the deep Pacific.

Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre
Smart Ocean Systems for science research, resource management, and alert warning systems and services from scientists, engineers, architects and Canadian and international industry contributors

Georgia Strait Alliance
Protecting and restoring British Columbia’s spectacular inland sea.

Since 1990, the Georgia Strait Alliance has been focused on protecting the marine environment in and around the Strait of Georgia, the northern arm of the Salish Sea, and the place where more than 75% of British Columbians live, work, and play.

West Coast Environmental Law
British Columbia can and must do more to steward its rich legacy of wild spaces, clean water, and abundant wildlife. Left unchecked, rampant resource extraction and inadequate regulatory controls will mean a diminished quality of life for our children. The most definitive and enduring way to protect our environment is through the law. To make better laws, we need concerned citizens around the province to be informed.
West Coast Environmental Law

Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Our vision for coastal British Columbia is to protect the habitats and resources of umbrella species. We believe this approach will help ensure the survival of all species and ecological processes that exist at different scales. We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and their wilderness habitats.
Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team
As little as a quart of spilled oil, diesel or gasoline can contaminate acres of water and can prove deadly to all forms of marine life. Juvenile fish, shellfish larvae, and other fragile and essential sea life are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of oil and other petroleum products.
Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team


Imagine a place where the deep ocean meets the nutrient laden waters of the great rivers
on Canada’s West Coast, where rapidly flowing tidal currents create rich ecosystems that support millions of birds, marine mammals including the endangered orca, and thousands of creatures living below the surface. This is a place where people have interacted with the ocean for centuries,a place that now is home to seven million people, a place at the crossroads of ancient pathways and new directions. This place is the Salish Sea.

Now, with your help, we will create a special relationship between the Salish Sea and those who will cherish it. We are going to make it possible to learn about nature in nature.
The Salish Sea Institute

The more we know about the Salish Sea the better we can protect it. As we become more urbanized, connecting people with the Salish Sea is critical. Understanding nature in nature has never been so important. We can look out at this beautiful ocean and easily see that everyone wants a piece of the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea Institute is all about connecting people.
Salish Sea Institute – Nature in Nature – Film

Creative centres

Restoring our Oceans

Imagining the Community Learning Centre

An open space for community leaders to host creative conversations for communities of common interest to work together around opportunities for creative community enterprise

A place for contributors to create connections and relationships around ideas and opportunities for creative enterprise.

A place to explore and create ideas and opportunities that could contribute to increasing the size and contribution of our community of common enterprise

A place to learn what contributes to and what militates against our ability to create community around our common interests and our ability to excite creative community enterprise

Salish Sea creative community interests

Exploring how we create community around our common interest in protecting, preserving, and increasing the contribution of our community resources, – our natural resources, our created resources, and our creative resources, – our heritage, our culture, and our knowledge, – in the community created by the Salish Sea.

Creating a community line around our resource.

Exploring how we create sustainable communities of common place, of common enterprise, and of common contribution, – self-sustaining, independent, creative, contributive communities.

Exploring how we can leverage our community resources, our community relationships, and our community enterprise to increase our contribution to our common human interests and to creating a new world and new possibilities for our future and for the future of our world.

Our community learning interests

Exploring how we can create new ways of seeing and doing things to move from ideas, language, and behaviour that contribute to creating us and them to ideas, language, and behaviour that contributes to creating we.

Our creative community

We are the community of people and enterprises who care and are contributing to our common human interests, and to our creative and cultural evolution, and to our evolution as a community

We are the community of people and enterprises who are informed, concerned, active, resourced, and enlightened

Our common interest is becoming more informed, more connected, more able, more resourceful, and more enterprising.

Our common enterprise is imagining, creating, animating, resourcing, and exciting interest in opportunities for creative community enterprise that contributes to our common human interests.

We are contributing to creating a new world to create a future for our world, – creating an environment for our future to create a future for our environment

What bold visions could the government embrace if it broke away from Ottawa’s usual agendas?
John Ibbitson
Globe and Mail, October 12, 2013

Opportunities for the community

The Salish Sea Institute

The opportunity for the Pender Island community

Pender Island is located in the centre of the Salish sea and in the centre of a creative community of islands demonstrating how we can create community around opportunities to improve our quality of life,  our community well-being, our community sustainability, and our community wealth.

To host the first creative conversation around the idea of creating the Salish Sea Community Learning Centre and perhaps become the home of the Centre.

The Southern Gulf Islands Experience

The opportunity for Pender Island community leaders

Pender Community Transition – Gulf Islands Hub

The opportunity to host creative conversations

The opportunity for  contributors to creative conversations

An opportunity to explore and experience the Pender Islands and the creative contributions of the Pender Island community
Opportunities to publish their contributions to the creative conversation and their ideas for creating possibilities

The opportunity for Pender Island

A place to host creative conversations – demonstrate creative leadership
The home of the Salish Sea Community Learning Centre
Creating the first place to host creative conversations and create connections, relationships, and creative community enterprise

The mission of Heartwood Folk School is to offer local and visiting experts to teach adults and also younger folks, about practical, joyful, earth-caring and community-strengthening skills. 

Heartwood Folk School for Sustainability and Resilience

Opportunities for creative community leaders

Opportunities with our community of learning centres

Learning from our different contexts, experiences, and ideas and creating community around ideas that could accelerate our ability to increase our creative contributions to our communities of common enterprise contributing to our common human interests
The Stonehouse Standing Circle is a meeting place for people who are interested in developing sophisticated models for the advancement of society.
To promote reconciliation by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes the relationships between Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians in order to build resilience.

Our common human interests

Our common interest is to increase our ability to learn, our ability to create, and our ability to contribute to interests we have in common and our common human interests and as individuals and as communities of common enterprise.

Creative community enterprise

An enterprise is created when there is an interest and an idea that contributes to that interest that attracts and excites interest, imagination, and investment

A creative enterprise is an enterprise that attracts and excites the interest, imagination, and investment of creative energy, creative resources, and creative enterprise

A community enterprise is a community of common enterprise defined by common interests or interests in common

A creative community enterprise is defined by a common interest in increasing the size and contribution of our community enterprise

Creating community

Creating connections with stories, ideas, and opportunities from different points of view, different experiences, different contexts, different interests, and different enterprise.

Creating connections with ideas, language, and behaviour that contributes to creating community

Operating beyond integrity
We are known by what we say and do and how we say and do things. Operating with integrity is doing what we say we do and being who we say we are. Operating beyond integrity is making a contribution.

Community culture is being respectful, appreciative, considerate, open, fair, honest, and contributive in what we say and do and how we say and do things

What could happen

What could happen is what could happen in any place where people with a common enterprise can gather in a circle around their creative interests, creative ideas, and creative energy.

We can begin our creative conversation and our creative enterprise with our community of contributors who have these interests in common. They will define our community and guide our creative community enterprise.

The art of creative conversation
The art of creating community
The art of creating community enterprise
The art of creative community enterprise
The art of creating possibilities as a community

To give life to, to inspire, to stimulate, to make vigorous, to activate, to move to action, – our common enterprise in creative conversation around opportunities for creative community enterprise, – creative enterprise that contributes to the interests of our community – the well-being, sustainability, and wealth of our community, – and to our common human interests

Creating an environment for creative community enterprise and learning how to contribute to creating the environment

To improve our ability to explore opportunities, ideas and enterprise around what we could do and what we can do and what we could do as a community with our community resources, – our natural community resources, our created community resources, and our creative community resources that could contribute to our individual interests and our common interests in contributing to the well-being, sustainability, and wealth of our community.

Our common interests – A sustainable world and economic growth

From economic development to enterprise development and community development

Pacific Salmon Foundation
A voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and the ecosystems that depend on them.
Advancing scientific and evidence-based solutions to challenges facing wild Pacific salmon
Managing multi-million dollar initiatives in the Skeena watershed in partnership with industry, provincial and federal governments and other foundations.
Investing in volunteer organizations and projects that work on behalf of salmon across the province

Salmon Confidential

Wouldn’t it be interesting in another year to occupy at least 6 months of the school year with a “Salish Sea Winter Institute” at PCR focusing on Environmental Protection in the Salish  Sea, Community resilience in the Salish Sea, and Economic  sustainability in the Salish Sea. We could possibly consider 3 two-day forums on these topics this winter to engage potential partners in developing a program for 2014-15.

“Salish Sea Winter Institute”
This program is located in Sidney at The Institute’s Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre was opened 3 years ago.  Since then more than 335,000 visitors have learned to explore and appreciate the Salish Sea ecosystem through its programs and exhibits. What is of particular interest is the Institute is in the process of establishing two field stations on Pender; one at Roesland in the National Park and one on South Pender at the reserve next to PCR. The
Salish Sea Institute video explains this and the following link provides a more detailed description of their long term plans.

I especially like the Institute’s focus on direct nature experience for young people and their involvement of First Nations in their program. I will be following up with Angus Mathews, their executive
director, to let him know we have a wonderful nature lab at Brooks Point for exploring the intertidal zone and the tidal pools that abound here. It would be interesting to see if PICA could initiate a
focused program involving Saanich youth coming to Pender on a field trip (perhaps hosted by Pender youth) and Pender youth having a field trip to the Sidney Discovery Centre (hosted by Saanich youth). We will
be discussing this at our next Brooks Point committee meeting on Sept. 22nd. One of our neighbours, Derek Holzaphel at has done a fabulous job of documenting the sea species around the
Penders. Derek helped our committee put together an inventory of marine species and he probably has some involvement with the

Paul Petrie

Get Next to Nature and visit the beautiful Southern Gulf Islands

Pender Island Buzz

the brief vision at the beginning of the Pender Community Transition website…

This is an invitation for our Pender community (and all communities) to come together and help create a brighter future…  where we’re more sustainable, as well as locally resilient.  And we’re more connected with each other, the land, and the rest of nature…  living healthier, and with greater happiness and spirit!

BC Sustainable Energy Association
Dogwood Initiative
Georgia Strait Alliance
West Coast Environmental Law

My vision for the Economic Development Commission is to see the Pender and Salish Sea Island communities working in harmony with the land, the sea, with each other and with our island neighbours to create a vibrant economy supported and maintained by a diverse and devoted community that understands and appreciates who they are and where they live, a community that lives its values and demonstrates that a better life is possible, and a community that understands and is informed by its past and dedicates itself to the creation of a better future for all of its members.

Derek Masselink

Andrea Mills, Zorah Starr, Colin McLarty, Michele Cook, Ina Timmer, Dave Howe, Philip Cook, Paul Petrie, Monica Petrie, Jim Peacock

Gulf Islands Centre for Ecological Learning

The young people of Pender are in the best position to chart the future of Brooks Point. GICEL is a good starting point. Ptarmigan’s Art and Nature Program that connects children with nature to explore the natural world and create art every week on Friday mornings when the local elementary school is closed is also a key point of engagement.

Ptarmigan Music and Theatre Society

Patrick Smith – Sustaining the Islands

Second thought


Creating a community line


Keystone consumers