Caring for Our Shores – Appendix 1: Where to Get Help

Caring for Our Shores – Appendix 1: Where to Get Help

Report and Information Hotlines

(please note: all contact information was correct at time of printing but may no longer be valid)

Enquiry Lines:

Federal Government Enquiry Line: 1-800-667-3355, provides contact numbers for federal agencies (does not transfer calls).

Enquiry B.C Transfer Line: 1-800-663-7867, will transfer your call to the appropriate agency or contact person.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO):

  • Emergency Hotline: 1-800-663-9453 (24 Hours)
  • Observe Record & Report Hotline: 1-800-465-4336
  • Shellfish Information: Includes red tide updates, (604) 666-2828 (24 Hours)
  • Marine Mammal Sightings or Animals in Distress: Reporting marine mammal sightings provides information that aids scientists in tracking the movements and health of certain populations. The more detailed information you can provide the better. Cetacean sightings (whales and dolphins), DFO, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, Graeme Ellis, 756-7245. Pinniped sightings (seals and sea lions), DFO, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, Peter Olesiuk, 756-7253. For live strandings or animals in distress, do not approach the animal or attempt to “rescue” it. Call Vancouver Aquarium (604) 685-3364, or page their marine mammal coordinator (Clint Wright) at (604) 686-9637. Alternately, call the DFO 24 hr Emergency Hotline 1-800-663-9453 (they will page Graeme Ellis, Peter Olesiuk, or someone else to help you).

Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks (MELP):

  • Seaweed Harvesting Permits: Courtenay, Ed Black, 897-7540.
  • Provincial Emergency Response: 1-800-663-3456 (24 Hours)
  • B.C Environment Report Line: 1-800-663-9453 (24 Hours) To report violations of environmental law, including freshwater fishing violations, illegal wildlife kills, and disposal of hazardous materials into streams.
  • B.C Environment Planning and Assessment: 1-800-665-7027

Oil Spills (Pacific International Number): 1-800-OILS-911. Links caller to the appropriate state or provincial emergency dispatch services. The intended users are fishermen, recreational boaters, and other mariners who travel between west coast states and the province. Call via radio-telephone, cellular phone, pay-phone, or regular phone.

Rare Bird Alert: A hotline for interested birders to report sightings of rare birds on Vancouver Island, or birds outside their normal habitat range. 592-3381.

Certified Laboratories of Vancouver Island (for shellfish and water testing)

  • M.B. Research and Development Ltd., Sidney, 656-1334
  • North Island Laboratories, Courtenay, 338-7787

Sewage Alternatives:

  • Composting Toilets: Spiral Marketing, (604) 882-9493
  • Cisterns: Forest Lumber Company, 642-4899
  • Wastewater Treatment Systems: Engineered Pump Systems Ltd, (604) 584-3154

British Columbia Recycling Hot Line: 1-800-667-4321

Search and Rescue or Diver Distress: 1-800-567-5111

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency: (604) 666-2431

Specific Contacts in the Cowichan/Nanaimo Area

If you are outside the CVRD or Nanaimo areas, contact the corresponding person in your blue pages or call the government enquiry numbers listed above and ask for a local reference.

Harvesting Permits: (Cowichan First Nations permits for food use) Cowichan Band Office, Wayne Paige, 748-3196. (Shellfish and finfish licencing information) DFO Nanaimo, 754-0400.

Harvesting and Marine Fishing Violations: DFO Duncan, Linda Watkin (clerk), Elliot Teskey or Willi Jansen (Fisheries Officers), 746-6221. Department of Fisheries and Oceans Hotline, 1-800-465-4336.

Regional Red Tide Updates: DFO Duncan, Linda Watkin (clerk), Elliot Teskey or Willi Jansen (Fisheries Officers), 746-6221.

Property Development Questions:

CVRD Planning Department, Dave Paras & Cheryl Weirz (Planning Tehnicians)

  • DFO Habitat Management (Ladysmith to Sooke) Cindy Harlow (Habitat Technologist) 748-0278
  • MELP Duncan, Marlene Caskey (Habitat Protection Technician) 746-1224
  • Foreshore issues (DFO), Rob Russell, 756-7159
  • Water quality issues (DFO), Margaret Wright, 756-7269.

Environmental Impact Assessments: MELP Nanaimo, Ron Bollans, 756-3100.

Septic Issues: Public Health Inspector Duncan, 746-1414.

Soil Testing: Vancouver Island Soil Testing Associates, Duncan, 746-8633.

Land Use Violations: MELP Nanaimo, Keith Anderson (Senior Officer), 751-3100.

Illegal Dumping: MELP Nanaimo, Diane Tetarenko (Conservation Officer), 751-3100.

Hazardous Materials:

  • Discharge into streams: MELP Duncan, Ken Broadland (Conservation Officer), 746-1257.
  • Discharge into storm drains or fish kills: DFO Hotline, 1-800-465-4336.
  • CVRD Recycling Hotline: Duncan, 746-2640, Ladysmith (toll-free) 1-800-665-3955.
  • CVRD Website:
  • Paint Collection Depot (phone before dropping off paint): Cowichan Valley Bottle Depot Duncan, 748-2066
  • Pharmaceuticals (including over the counter drugs, vitamins or prescription drugs) can be returned to any pharmacy in British Columbia.

Government Organizations

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada: Coastal Areas Branch, Box 2527, 103-620 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, B.C, V3L 5A8, Phone: 604-666-9283. (

Canadian Wildlife Service: (Publications) Ottawa, ON, K1A 0H3, Phone: 819-997-1095

Conservation Data Centre: Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks, Resources Inventory Branch, Box #9344, Station Provincial Government, Victoria, B.C, V8W 9M1. Phone: 356-0928.

Cowichan Valley Regional District: 137 Evans Street, Duncan, B.C, V9L 1P5, Phone: 746-2500, Fax: 746-5612.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): Institute of Ocean Sciences: 9860 West Saanich Road, Box# 6000, Sidney, B.C, V8L 4B2, Phone: 363-6518, Website:

Pacific Biological Station: Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C, V9R 5K6, Phone: 756-7000, Website:

Habitat and Enhancement Branch: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 555 West Hastings St. Vancouver, B.C, V6B 5G3.

Coastal and Marine Habitat Science Website provides scientific advice and information about marine habitats, particularly needed for managing, conserving and protecting our Pacific coastal zones. Can be accessed through the Institute of Ocean Sciences at

Environment Canada: 2224 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, B.C, V7M 3H7, Main Office: 604-666-6711, Library: 604-666-5914, General Information: 604-666-5900, Website:

Islands Trust: 2nd Floor, 1627 Fort Street, Victoria, B.C, V8R 1H8, Phone: 387-4000, Fax: 387-4047.

Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks (MELP):

  • Nanaimo: 2080 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C, V9T 6E9, Phone: 751-3100, Fax: 751-3103
  • Victoria: 103-3179 Jacklin Road, Victoria, B.C, V8V 1X4, Phone: 474-5544, Fax: 474-6756

Municipal/Regional Planning Department: For more information about what measures your local government may have taken to protect marine habitat, and more information about Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Development Permit Areas, contact your local municipal/regional office, planning department.

Naturescape British Columbia: Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks, #300-1005 Broad Street, Victoria, B.C, V8W 2A1, 1-800-387-9853. Purpose: Publishes “Naturescape” series for practicing stewardship at home.

First Nations

Cowichan Tribes, Box 880, 1820 Tzouhalem Rd., Duncan, B.C, V9L 3Y2, Phone: 748-3196, Fax: 748-1233.

Halalt First Nation, RR #1, Chemainus, B.C, V0R 1K0, Phone: 246-4736, Fax: 246-2330.

Homalco First Nation, 1400 Weikaikum Road, Campbell River, B.C, V9W 5W8, Phone: 287-4922, Fax: 287-9590.

Lyackson First Nation, 5360 Smith Road, RR #6, Duncan, B.C, V9L 4T8, Phone: 246-5019, Fax: 246-5049.

Malahat First Nation, Box 111, Mill Bay, B.C, V0R 2P0, Phone: 743-3231, Fax: 743-3251.

Mid Island Tribal Council, Box 720, Chemainus, B.C, V0R 1K0, Phone: 246-2665, Fax: 246-2347.

Nanaimo Indian Band, 1145 Totem Road, Nanaimo, B.C, V9R 1H1, Phone: 390-3661, Fax: 390-3365.

Nanoose First Nation, 209 Mallard Roadway, Lantzville, B.C, V0R 2H0, 390-3661, Fax: 390-3365.

Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tswaout, Box 517, Brentwood Bay, B.C, V0S 1K0, Phone: 604-656-0191, Fax: 604-656-9905.

Penelakut First Nations, Box 360, Chemainus, B.C, V0R 1K0, Phone: 246-2321, Fax: 246-2725.

South Island Tribal Council, Box 62, Mill Bay, B.C, Canada, V0R 2P0, Phone: 743-3228, Fax: 743-7207.

Tseycum First Nation, 1210 Totem Lane, Sidney, B.C, V8L 5S4, Phone: 656-0858, Fax: 656-0868.

Non-Government Organizations

Bamfield Marine Station: Bamfield, B.C, V0R 1B0. Contact: Andy Spencer, director. Phone: 728-3301.

British Columbia Environmental Network: 1672 East Tenth Avenue, Vancouver, B.C, V5N 1X5. Phone: 604-879-2279, Fax: 604-879-2272, Email: Purpose: To facilitate communication among environmental groups and individuals interested in environmental issues Contact: Anne-Marie Sleeman.

British Columbia Marine Awareness Society: 4119 Barrington Rd., Victoria, B.C, V8Z 6B4. Phone: 744-5740, Email: ul282@freenet.victoria.B.C Purpose: To instill respect of our waters through the sharing of knowledge and information based upon continuing research in the hope of effecting long-lasting conservation of our marine environments. Contact: Nikki Smith.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society—B.C Chapter: 611-207 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C, V6B 1H7, Phone: 604-685-7445, Fax: 604-685-6449. Purpose: To promote the protection of parks and other places of natural significance. Contacts: Sabine Jessen.

Canadian Wildlife Federation: 2740 Queensview Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2B 1A2. Phone: 1-800-563-WILD, Fax: 613-721-2902, Email: Coast Islands Conservancy: RR #1, Mayne Island, B.C, V0N 2J0. Phone: 539-2034, Email: Contact: Ron Pither.

Cowichan Bay Improvement Association: General Delivery, Cowichan Bay, B.C, V0R 1N0. Phone: 250-748-7206, Purpose: To improve the Cowichan Bay area through consultation, education, and participation. Contact: Gerry McGinnis.

Cowichan Community Land Trust Society: #6-55 Station Street, Duncan, B.C, V9L 1M2. Phone: 250-746-0227, Fax: 746-9608, Email: Purpose: To work for the preservation of the Cowichan Valley’s natural heritage.

Cowichan Estuary Preservation Society: RR #5, Box 20, Duncan, B.C, V9L 4T6. Phone: 250-748-6582, Fax: 748-8944. Purpose: To assess all activities which impact the estuary. Contact: Boon Collins.

Cowichan Valley Naturalists Society: Box #361, Duncan, B.C, V9L 3X5, Phone: 250-743-3487. Purpose: To speak for nature when nature cannot speak for itself. Contact: David Aldcroft, President.

Cowichan Fish and Game Association: Box 445, Duncan, B.C, V9L 3X8. Phone: 250-246-9245. Purpose: To promote sportsmanship in the Cowichan Valley. Contact: Bob Huber.

David Suzuki Foundation: #219-2211 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C, V6K 4S2. Phone: 250-732-4228, Fax: 732-0752. Purpose: To promote a vision of the Earth in which humans live within the planet’s productive capacity. Contact: Jim Fulton.

Denman Island Conservancy Association: 6080 Lacon Road, Denman Island, B.C, V0R 1T0, Phone: 250-335-2151, Fax: 250-335-2151. Contact: Jenny Balke.

Discovery Coast Greenways Land Trust: 158 Coronation Crescent, Campbell River, B.C, V9W 3T6. Phone: 250-287-8565. Contact: Mike Roth.

Ducks Unlimited Canada Coastal Office: White Rock Postal Service, Box 39530, White Rock, B.C, V4A 9P3. Phone: 604-591-1104, Fax: 604-591-3164. Purpose: To increase North America’s waterfowl resources. Contact: Les Bogden.

Federation of B.C Naturalists: 425-1367 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C, V6H 4A9. Phone: 604-737-3057, Fax: 604-738-7173. Purpose: An umbrella for regional naturalist groups in B.C. Contact: Stephen Partington.

Friends of Ecological Reserves: Box 8477, Victoria, B.C, V8W 3S1. Phone: 250-595-4813. Purpose: Funding research in ecological reserves. Contact: Trudy Chatwin.

Galiano Conservancy: RR #1 Parlier Pass Road, Galiano Island, B.C, V0N 1P0. Phone: 250-539-2424, Email: Contact: Linda Millard.

Georgia Strait Alliance: 201-195 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, B.C. Phone: 250-753-3459. Fax: 250-753-2567, Email:, website: Purpose: To protect, preserve, and restore the ecology of the Strait of Georgia and its adjoining waters Contact: Laurie MacBride, Executive Director.

Gowlland Foundation: Box 7164 Depot 4, Victoria, B.C, V9B 4Z3. Phone: 250-474-4124. Purpose: Dedicated to a new relationship between humans and nature. Contact: Nancy McMinn.

Island Stream and Salmon Enhancement Society: Box 430, Ganges, B.C, V0S 1E0. Phone: 250-537-9630. Purpose: To preserve the creeks on the Gulf Islands and rebuild fish stocks. Contact: Kathy Reimer.

The Land Conservancy of British Columbia: 5793 Old West Saanich Road, Victoria, B.C, V8X 3X3, Phone: 250-361-7693, Fax: 250-744-2251. Purpose: To protect biodiversity through the purchase of vital areas. Contact: Bill Turner.

Land Trust Alliance of B.C: Phone: 250-361-7693, Fax: 250-744-2251, Email: Purpose: To unite the land trusts and conservancy organizations of B.C for purposes of support and development. Contact: Bill Turner

Maple Bay Yacht Club, 6337 Genoa Bay Road, Box 406, Duncan, B.C, V9L 3X5. Phone: 250-746-4521. Purpose: To provide social events, sailing lessons, boat moorage, and cleanup work parties for Pirates Cove Marine Park. Contact: Duffy Lequesne.

Marine Ecology Station: Sidney, B.C, V0R 1N0. Phone: 250-655-1555, Email:, Website: Purpose: Dedicated to the exploration, understanding, and stewardship of Northeast Pacific marine life. Contact: Bill Austin.

Marine Life Sanctuaries Society: 629 Lambert Avenue, Nanaimo, B.C, V9R 3N9, Phone: 250-753-6468, Fax: 250-753-6494, email:, Purpose: To protect a diversity of marine environments Contact: Jennifer Lash, Executive Director.

Nanaimo Area Land Trust: 2648 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C, V9T 1T0, Phone: 250-753-4686, Email: Contact: Barbara Hourston.

Nature Conservancy of Canada: 663 Radcliffe Lane, Victoria, B.C, V8S 5B8. Phone: 250-598-7503. Purpose: To protect high priority areas in B.C through land purchases. Contact: Yorke Edwards.

The Nature Trust of B.C: #808-100 Park Royal South, West Vancouver, B.C, V7T 1A2, Phone: 604-925-1128.

Pender Island Conservancy: RR #1, Pender Island, B.C, V0N 2M0. Phone: 250–3381. Contact: Jan Kirkby.

Quadra Island Conservancy: Box #202, Heriot Bay, B.C, V0P 1H0, Phone: 250-285-2331. Contact: Michael Mascall.

Reach for Unbleached: Box #39, Whaletown, B.C, V0P 1Z0, Phone: 935-6992, Email:, Website: Contact: Delores Broten.

Rosewall to Bonnell Land Trust: 563 West Crescent, Qualicum Beach, B.C, V9K 1J2. Phone: 250-752-6585. Contact: Annette Turner.

Saanich Inlet Protection Society: c/o R. Peers, 1019 Thistledown Dr., Victoria, B.C, V8X 4T6. Phone: 658-1611. Purpose: To protect the Saanich Inlet, its marine life, its water quality, and natural beauty for future generations.

Saltspring Island Conservancy: Box #722, Saltspring Island, B.C, V8K 2W3. Phone: 250-653-4632, Fax: 250-653-4632, Email: Contact: Ann Richardson.

Savary Island Land Trust: Box# 145, Lund, B.C, V0N 2G0. Contact: Norma Flawith.

Sierra Club of B.C—Cowichan Group: Box 1035, Duncan, B.C, V9L 3Y2. Phone: 250-746-6659, Fax: 250-746-6659, Purpose: To care for the environment, correcting damage and ensuring necessary protection. Contact: Dianne Angus, Secretary.

Sierra Legal Defense Fund, 214-131 Water Street, Vancouver, B.C, V6B 4M3. Phone: 604-685-5618. Fax: 604-685-7813, Contact: David Boyd, Executive Director.

T Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation: 160-111 Victoria Dr., Vancouver, B.C, V5L 4C4. Phone: 604-255-8819, Email:

Vancouver Aquarium: Box 3232, Vancouver, B.C, V6B 3X8. Phone: 604-659-3443, Fax: 604-659-3515. Contact: John Nightengale, President and CEO.

Victoria Natural History Society: Box 5220, Station B, Victoria, B.C, V8R 6N4. Phone: 250-479-2054. Purpose: To promote nature recreation, education, and protection in Greater Victoria Contact: David Allinson, President.

Waterbird Watch Collective: 272 Beddis Road, Salt Spring Island, B.C, V8K 2J1. Phone: 250-537-4515, Fax: 250-537-5115. Purpose: To protect marine habitat by monitoring and recording waterbird numbers, species, and locations. Contact: Nina Raginsky, Coordinator.

West Coast Environmental Law Association and Research Foundation: 207 West Hastings St., Suite 1001, Vancouver, B.C, V6B 1H7. Phone: 604-684-7378, Fax: 604-684-1312, Email: Purpose: To promote public interest in protection and enhancement of the environment. Contact: Steven Shrybman, Executive Director.

World Wildlife Fund: 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 504, Toronto, ON, M4P 2Z7. Phone: 416-1-800-PANDA, Fax: 416-489-3611. Contact: Cheri Recchia, Manager, Marine Protected Areas.



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To order a copy of Caring for Our Shores: A Handbook for Coastal Residents in the Strait of Georgia, contact:

The Cowichan Community Land Trust Society
#6-55 Station Street, Duncan, B.C, V9L 1M2
P: 250-746-0227, F: 250-746-9607

marine-ecology-stationThe Marine Ecology Station
Sidney, B.C,
P: 250-655-1555

Images used with special permission from Kerry L. Werry. To view more pictures of ocean creatures found in B.C waters, visit the B.C Diving and Marine Life I.D Page.

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