The next meeting of the Baynes Sound Lambert Channel EcoForum will be held May 26, 2023 from 9:30 am to 3pm at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station, 370 Crome Point Road, Bowser.

There are many issues facing Baynes Sound. We cannot address them all during this one-day event. This lineup builds on last December’s session on the critical issue of human sewage in the Baynes Sound marine ecosystem. Solving this problem requires change, collaboration, and action. No one government department, municipality or community can solve this ugly problem on its own. The invitees to this session represent a cross-section of people who can make a difference. 

9:00 – 9:30      Grab a coffee, meet some people with a diversity of interests and expertise in areas that affect Baynes Sound.

9:30 – 9:35      Call to Order by Carl Butterworth, Chair of the Steering Committee and Manager of Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

9:359:40      Welcome by Chief Michael Recalma, Qualicum First Nation, Steering Committee Member.

9:40   Facilitator  The EcoForum gathers participants with a diversity of responsibilities, knowledge, and perspectives. The people you meet here and the knowledge that is shared can result in formal and informal collaborations that can change the status quo. Getting to a place where that is possible requires a plan and some savvy facilitation. Janet Bonaguro will outline the way to get there.


9:45     49°32′0″N 124°50′0″W AN AREA UNDER PRESSURE

Baynes Sound has had a productive, resilient marine ecosystem. K’omoks First Nation has considered it their “breadbasket” for millennia.  But numerous factors are putting stress on the Sound. 

Dorrie Woodward is chair of the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards and a founding member of the Ecosystem Forum. She walks us through a map of the area and its pressure points.  


It is against the law to discharge human waste into Baynes Sound. But there is a loophole.

If a boater doesn’t have access to a pump out station or a toilet within a reasonable distance – then over the side it goes. Toilet paper. E coli. Norovirus. The works.

Addressing infrastructure could have an effective impact on reducing the stressors on the marine ecosystem of Baynes Sound and the communities that surround it.

BC Shellfish Growers Association Executive Director and EcoForum Steering Committee Treasurer Nico Prins spearheaded an action group formed at the December meeting. Their mandate was to work up a proposal to fund a survey that would identify gaps in information and infrastructure. We’ll get an update.    

10:05   Questions and Discussions


This pilot program is intended to support sustainable aquaculture opportunities for both the K’ómoks First Nation and partners within the region. This new approach will see the federal government, Indigenous government and other levels of government, industry, and stakeholders collaborate to plan, manage, monitor, and enhance shellfish activities in Baynes Sound. What’s needed to make this work well? A presentation by Elysha Gordon, Aquaculture Management Division, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Transport Canada is responsible for the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemical Regulations.  What does that mean in terms of regulations regarding sewage?

Jackie Grant is acting manager with Transport Canada’s Marine Safety and Security division. She will explain how those rules are currently enforced, the complexities of monitoring the source of discharge from sea-going vessels and the challenges of raising profile and public education campaigns.

10:30   Questions and Discussion 

10:50   BREAK

Grab a morning snack. Sweet Pea catering makes sure they are nutritious, delicious, and plentiful.


The Village of Cumberland is a popular place. But it got a reputation as an environmental outlier when it was non-compliant with provincial environmental regulations for nearly two decades.

Although it is inland, this rapidly growing community’s wastewater finds its way into Baynes Sound via Maple Creek and the Trent River. Its aging system has not kept up with growth and changing rainfall patterns.

In a 2018 referendum, Cumberland voters agreed to proceed with a “made in Cumberland” solution and bypass tying in to the CVRD’s South Sewer project. What is the status of these plans? How do you motivate residents to care about what is going on downstream?

Cumberland Mayor Vickey Brown has a background in Environmental Studies and Political Science – two areas that are critical to pragmatic problem solving in communities around Baynes Sound.  

11:20   Questions and Discussions

11:35   NEXT STEPS

By now you will have worked up an appetite and you can smell that famous Sweet Pea cooking.

Before you eat, facilitator Janet Bonaguro will set up the plan for the breakout tables based on the morning’s discussions.

11:50   Buffet Lunch

Soups, sandwiches, and salads. Vegetarian/GF options. 

12:40   Break Out Table Discussion

1:30     WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

During this 90-minute facilitated session, table leaders will report back on group discussions, laying out their best ideas for planning, collaboration, and action. This is when new working groups could be formed based on the priorities identified.

3:00     Safe Travel Home

Remember, friends don’t let friends throw their poop in the water.


The EcoForum is made possible by support from CVRD, Islands Trust, VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards, BC Shellfish Growers Association, and the Lush Charity Pot. We are grateful for this investment in the future of the Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel marine ecosystems.

Steering committee members:

Carl Butterworth, Chair (VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station);

Nico Prins, Treasurer (BC Shellfish Growers Association);

Dorrie Woodward, Secretary (Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards);

Chief Mike Recalma, Qualicum First Nation.

Candace Newman, Councillor K’omoks First Nation.

Daniel Arbour, Director, Area A, CVRD.

Chris Pearce, Research Scientist, Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.