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Early in 2017, the Vancouver Aquarium’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute published the OceanWatch-Howe Sound Edition Report.  The report gave scores on issues of ecological, socioeconomic, cultural, and governance aspects of ecosystem health.  At the end of each section are 30 Action Items that would contribute to improving the scores and protecting the health of the Sound.

Following the Howe Sound Community Forum in May 2017, an OceanWatch Task Force was created to:

  • Identify which actions in the Ocean Watch Action Plan are within the mandate and reach of member communities.
  • Focus on the identifying selected actions by Local Governments for implementation and
    highlight potential actions that include policy integration and collaboration between
    member Local governments and First Nations;
  • Contribute information on what action local governments and Squamish Nation are already undertaking toward the goals.
  • Recommend a process through which the selected actions get done.

The task force’s recommendations are taken forward to the Howe Sound Community Forum and from there each local government votes on those recommendations.  To-date the task force has recommended support for Fisheries and Oceans Canada move to protect thirteen Glass Sponge Reefs in Howe Sound, and a contribution towards funding the development of a Marine Resource Guide.

Howe Sound Community Forum member representatives attend monthly meetings co-Chaired by District of Squamish Councillor Doug Race and Gambier Island Local Trust Trustee Kate-Louise Stamford.  The task force receives presentations on topics relevant to advancing the action items.

Meetings have been ongoing, and an extension to the six months term of the task force has resulted in more actions being addressed.   Minutes of the meetings are available here.  For more information contact

Andrew Day who led the development of the report was interviewed for Conversations that Matter with Stuart McNish.  View the Howe Sound Report Card here:


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