Each year, the BC Parks Foundation chooses one special place to concentrate fundraising efforts towards protection. This year it’s West Ballenas Island. While this island would normally be out of reach, the Foundation was able to reduce the asking price from $2,225,000 to $1,700,000. The Foundation has until November 17 to secure the funds.
West Ballenas Island is an undeveloped 100-acre island gem floating in the Salish Sea – one of BC’s most threatened environments. Listed as one of the top ten most biodiverse sites in the Gulf Islands, West Ballenas is home to abundant bird populations, rare plants, threatened species, and marine life.
Currently, the Island is zoned for development. To help avoid private development, the BC Parks Foundation is seeking to raise funds to purchase the island.
West Ballenas Island is the only private non-park parcel remaining in a proposal to establish the Ballenas-Winchelsea Archipelago as a 4900-hectare marine park—a long-standing conservation initiative within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve.
The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Foundation was established to raise awareness of the biodiversity of watersheds on Vancouver Island’s Mount Arrowsmith and adjacent marine areas. Biosphere reserves are considered model regions for sustainable development. They work to promote the conservation of biological and cultural diversity in addition to economic and social development. In each biosphere reserve, community partners work together to find innovative ways to achieve a balance between the needs of humans and nature.
Mayor Brian Wiese commented that “As a partner of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, the Town of Qualicum Beach is excited at the prospect of protecting this Island for future generations, and for the further development of the Ballenas-Winchelsea Archipelago conservation area.”
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Qualicum Beach
250 752 6921