Swimming in Robertson Lake on Cortes Island
Lakes and wetlands of the Discovery Islands
This project is gathering and cataloguing information about lakes and wetlands on the islands. These are critically important elements in the complex ecosystem known as a watershed. Lakes and wetlands supports a higher level of biodiversity in the surrounding and downstream forest. They filter and store water that is then released over time, allowing aquatic species and the forest to survive longer periods of drought. Lakes and wetlands also mitigate the potentially detrimental effects of periods of high rainfall. Nearby logging has negative impacts on the ecological health and hydrological function of lakes and wetland areas.
Because of the rugged geology of the Discovery Islands, lakes are abundant. The provincial government has mapped over 80 bodies of open water on Quadra Island alone, only a handful of which have been officially named.
The presence of so many lakes is part of what makes the Discovery Islands a biodiversity hotspot and therefore worthy of a higher level of forest conservation than is currently being practised.
The lakes, wetlands and surrounding forest could also play a key role in creating more recreational opportunities in the islands’ forested areas, complementing other forest values such as conservation of wildlife habitat, climate mitigation and fire hazard reduction.
In the map below, use the + or - buttons to zoom in and out. You can pan around the map by clicking on it and and dragging. Click on any blue dot for more information about that lake. Our survey of lakes and wetlands is an ongoing process and we invite residents and visitors to send us your observations.