A Message from Our Friends at BC Parks Foundation…
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.
It’s also in a prime location for human use, being close to the rapidly growing Nanaimo-Parksville region of Vancouver Island. Part of Snaw-naw-as Nation territory, and long popular with local and international boaters visiting the surrounding archipelago, most people are not aware the island is privately held and zoned for development into a number of individual parcels.
To protect this beautiful island and its wildlife, we have secured an exclusive agreement to purchase it but only have until November 17 to secure the funds.
In 2019 proud British Columbians and friends around the world helped us raise $3million in 3 months to protect Princess Louisa Inlet. That incredible story made the New York Times because people like you– from all walks of life- came together to do something great. That inspired the idea that every year park angels would all work together to protect at least one special place, keeping BC beautiful.
This year it’s West Ballenas Island. While this island would normally be out of reach, we were able to reduce the asking price from $2,225,000 to only $1,700,000!
WHERE IS WEST BALLENAS ISLAND?
West Ballenas Island is within the Snaw-Naw-As Nation’s territory. BC Parks Foundation has discussed the purchase of West Ballenas with the Snaw-naw-as Nation. If this private land is acquired in order to create a park, all communities and the Snaw-naw-as people will regain access to West Ballenas. Snaw-naw-as have let us know that they “continue to work toward including the Department of National Defence property on Wallace Point and the Nanoose peninsula into properties and uses that the Snaw-naw-as can once again access.” We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Snaw-naw-as in the future.
YOUR GIFT WILL HAVE TWICE THE IMPACT
On top of the reduced price, we are thrilled to announce that a very generous anonymous donor has pledged to match whatever you contribute to protecting this wonderful and fragile island!
That means only $850,000 is needed to permanently protect one of the Gulf Island’s most important places!
Your gift – no matter what size- will make a big difference. As happened with Princess Louisa Inlet, this is about the power of many people, from all walks of life, doing something great together.
You have done it before, and you can do it again! Join other park angels in doubling your gift now to protect West Ballenas.
WHAT ABOUT TAX CREDITS?
Once we complete the purchase of the island we will issue tax receipts for all donations over $20 which can be used to claim charitable tax credits – the more you donate the more you can save!
WHY IS WEST BALLENAS ISLAND IMPORTANT?
- Recognized by the Conservation Data Centre as one of the ten most biodiverse sites in the Gulf Islands with coastal bluff and coastal woodland sensitive ecosystems
- Home to red-listed Garry Oak-Arbutus community and a rare Shore Pine- Cladina-Kinnnikinnick plant community as well as blue-listed species
- Contains the endangered species Water-plantain buttercup, one of only two locations in British Columbia
- As an island, the property is virtually undisturbed by grazing and other human impacts
- Foreshore serves as winter haul out for California and Northern Sea lions
- Adjacent to Federal Fisheries and Oceans’ Rockfish Conservation Area
- Surrounding waters support rafts of diving sea birds, orcas, and other marine mammals; the passage between the two Ballenas islands contains eelgrass beds
A CATALYST FOR THE WINCHELSEA ARCHIPELAGO
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 area has a provincial park (Gerald Island), a private park (South Winchelsea Island), a regional park on Vancouver Island, and four small community parks along the Vancouver Island waterfront associated with the Lantzville community.
With support from the Islands Trust, the Nanaimo Regional District, the community of Lantzville, and a number of non-government groups such as BC Nature, Vancouver Island University, the Council of British Columbia Yacht Clubs, Fairwinds Community Association, and the BC Marine Trails Network, the acquisition of West Ballenas Island could act as a catalyst for garnering support from the Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation, BC, and Canada for creating a world-class marine protected area in one of BC’s most threatened ecosystems.
Questions about this campaign?
Phone – 604 343 3975 ext. 1
Email – email@example.com