BC Parks has acquired a 20-hectare island, which will become part of the Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park. A donation of $100,000 helped purchase the park — this is one of three donations that have contributed to the 862-hectare park, according to the province.
“Even though it’s remote, it’s important to have places like this protected for future generations to come and visit,” said Derek Moore, BC Parks area supervisor. “That’s one of the biggest joys of working with BC Parks. When we get these land acquisitions, I’m not thinking what the park will look like in five to 10 years – it’s the next 100 years.”
The park, near Quadra Island, was established in 1974 to provide opportunities for marine recreation and to protect habitats. The province said the park has been growing since it was established, with help from the B.C. Marine Parks Forever Society.
“I take a lot of pride in being able to contribute to the health of our marine parks,” said George Creek, president of the society. “If we don’t protect these areas, a lot of them could get taken over by commercial development.”
The society was founded in by the council of BC Yacht Clubs in 1990. It has since received more than $2 million in donations to help purchase land for 10 marine parks, according to the province.
Octopus Islands is a major kayaking route, according to Moore, “You can explore for days on a kayak in that area. It’s a fabulous place for day users, overnight trips and will still be used 100 years from now,” he said.
Creek first sailed to the islands in 2000 and said it is a great place to get away and enjoy nature. “It also has good anchorages and a hiking trail to a lake, which makes it a popular destination for boaters,” he said.