Environmental Impacts from Human Disturbances to Life at Race Rocks

The unique assemblage of Birds and mammals as well as the other forms of sea life around Race Rocks within a relatively close distance to a centre of population such as Victoria is a valued asset. It is in a large part due to years of vigilance on the part of the Race Rocks Ecoguardians, some regular commercial users of the reserve and those who are concerned with providing a sustainable future for the island ecosystem. It also has been supported by the oversight provided by DFO and BC Parks.
Without the cooperation of the public however, we cannot hope to assure that the ecosystem is viable in the long run. It is the purpose of this page to supplement the Guidelines page which we have provided for users of the area. Examples are provided of abuse to the area here in the hopes that others will be deterred from similar mistakes.
14K26127bWe are obliged as managers of the area and ecological reserve warden, to report all examples of disturbances to BC Parks, and if appropriate, the Federal Fisheries and Oceans department. It is our hope that we can eliminate the kind of disturbances and problems which we see, in the hope that we can ensure the ecosystem remains in a viable state forever. People must realize that animals disturbed by their presence use up valuable energy when food resources may not plentiful. The environment they live in is such that energy is needed for body temperature regulation as well as food gathering, and other regular biological functions. They often exist on a very slim energy margin .

1. Kayaks in the reserve
2. Recreational motor boats and injury and damage caused by boats.
3. Marine ecotourism operations
4. Blasting for military testing and demolition in nearby waters and on Bentinck Island
5. Fishing and Impacts of Fishing Gear in the reserve
6. Airline and helicopter overflights
7. Human Impact in the Management of the Light Station and the
Ecological reserve at Great Race Rock.
8. Ship operations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. and New Page on Tanker traffic
9. Regulations and Guidelines governing the use of the reserve.
The following report was commissioned by the DND in 2003 to determine the impacts of disturbances at Race Rocks. DEMARCHI, MW AND MD BENTLEY. 2004. Effects of natural and human-caused disturbances on marine birds and pinnipeds at Race Rocks, British Columbia. LGL Report EA1569. Prepared for Department of National Defence, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt and Public Works and Government Services Canada. 103 p.You may see the complete report here. Note in particular, the discussion of the results concerning the effects of blasting on the behaviour of sea lions.
See Also Anthropogenic Impacts– Curricular materials

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