In August 2021, Central Coast Nations’ Leadership, the federal Minister, and BC Ministers, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the Feasibility Assessment for a National
Marine Conservation Area Reserve in the Central Coast.
National Marine Conservation Area Reserves (NMCAR) are based on a unique model of collaborative governance and management between Parks Canada and First Nations, with a zoning system that provides for enhanced ecosystem protection, multiple use, and sustainable commercial fisheries management. NMCARs contribute to mitigating climate
change impacts, and provide long-term community socioeconomic benefits and opportunities. This model for marine conservation will be considered as a legislative approach to use on the Central Coast.
The feasibility assessment for the NMCAR, funded by Parks Canada, will cover a study area of about 14,200 square kilometres, including the offshore and nearshore marine waters (see map on page 9). The assessment will incorporate outputs from sub-regional and regional marine
planning efforts, including MaPP, the MPA network, as well as archeological, mineral, shipping, tourism, tenures and other relevant topics. The assessment will be guided by a Steering Committee, which includes: William Housty (Heiltsuk), Evan Loveless (Kitasoo Xai’xais), Richard Hall (Nuxalk), Andra Forney (Wuikinuxv), Charlie Short (BC), Brett Hudson (BC), Kevin McNamee (Parks Canada), and Ernie Gladstone (Parks Canada).
The feasibility assessment work and report are expected to be completed by March 2024. The report will include a recommendation to proceed or not to proceed to establish a NMCAR
through government-to-government negotiations. The Steering Committee will submit the report to the Nations’ leadership, and federal and provincial ministers, for their decision.
CCIRA’s Jean-Phillip Sargeant will support the Nations’ Steering Committee members and community input throughout the feasibility assessment.