Regulations for Using the Race Rocks Marine Research Centre


Pearson College manages the island and operates facilities with the primary objective of:
A. Protecting the ecological values of the island and surrounding ecological reserve.
B. Maximizing educational opportunities.
C. Facilitating research.

marinecentreAll activities at Race Rocks are subject to review and approval by the Race Rocks Operating Committee. Research or commercial activity in the ecological reserve also requires a permit for Research and Commercial Use
For most activities, you will also have to submit a permit to BC Parks.
Students and staff from Pearson College (including the resident Island Ecoguardian) are available at most times to assist in projects. Special consideration will be given to projects that include a component of student involvement.
All research, print material, film, video and other results from activities at Race Rocks must be made available as public information for education and research. Where possible, the information must be provided in electronic form. Pearson College will receive and maintain all information and materials for use on the Race Rocks web-site or at the Pearson College library. All information will be made available for this purpose without cost or copyright restriction.

At various times during the year, the marine bird and mammal populations of Great Race Rocks and the surrounding Ecological Reserve will be sensitive to human disturbance. Movement on the island may be severely restricted throughout the seal birthing and bird nesting season as the population may be heavily impacted by visitors. This season varies in length, but generally it is from late April to late August. Visitors must cooperate with the guidelines as laid down at the time by the Island Guardians. See Guidelines

The Marine Research Centre residence is the building that formerly housed the assistant light keeper at Race Rocks. It is equipped with a kitchen with fridge and stove, basic eating and cooking utensils, a deep freeze, mattresses for sleeping 6, vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, and basic furniture. Visitors must supply their own bedding and towels, washer and dryer are not available. There is limited water use; showers are not available. There is a basement for drying wet suits. There is no smoking permitted on the island.
All facilities must be left in an acceptably cleaned state.

If SCUBA diving is to be done, arrangements may be made with the operating committee for the provision of compressed air for diving at a cost of $15.00 per tank. Special safety precautions will be required as it is a high current area; a boat tender must be available for emergency pick up.


All waste generated on the island has to be removed from the island for recycling. Proper sorting and management of waste is the responsibility of those using the facility. A composting toilet is available in the basement of the EcoScience Centre residence.


Since March of 1997, Lester B.Pearson College has provided for a human presence for protection of the Ecological Reserve and buildings at Race Rocks. It is therefore necessary to charge fees for the use of the island in order to help defray these ongoing expenses.

All electricity for the houses is generated by the integrated energy system. There is a limited amount of energy available.
Phone service is by college phones available at the island.
The water supply for the houses on the island is an electric desalinator. Sea water has to be pumped to a reservoir and then fresh water is produced at a limited rate.
Transportation to Race Rocks is by Pearson College boats. Docking privileges may be extended to other boats only at the discretion of the Island Ecoguardian. It must be understood that transportation is entirely weather dependent. High winds can make the island totally inaccessible at times so users should allow some flexibility in their timetable.
The station boat is available for emergencies, and the use of the Island Ecoguardian.
Salaries of Island Guardians are paid by the College.
All operating costs on the leased part of the island and part of the capital maintenance costs are paid by the college.

Requests for use of the facilities will be accompanied by a proposal outlining the purpose of the visit. There is a charge of $100.00 for return transportation to the island (weather permitting). The use of the research residence with basic accommodation for up to six individuals for one night will be charged at the rate of $30.00 per person. Individuals are required to provide their own food and sleeping bag. Reduced rates may be negotiated in special circumstances

Authorization and arrangements for any commercial use involving the facilities on Great Race Rocks will be made with the Race Rocks Operating Committee at Lester Pearson College. Requests for use of the facilities will be accompanied by a proposal outlining the purpose of the visit. If the ecological reserve is involved, a permit will be required from B.C. Parks. The Operating Committee will supply forms for a permit on request.


Uses that may be considered : Television filming on the island, photography, interviews with College and Race Rocks Marine Center personnel.
There is a charge of $600.00 per day for use of the available facilities for a 24 hour period (up to 4 individuals). Transportation Arrangements to and from the island will be negotiated separately.
All payments will be made to:
Lester B. Pearson College,
Race Rocks Operating Fund,