Paddle renews call to protect Salish Sea

Participants in the annual Turning the Tide event, a five-day, 70-kilometre journey through the southern Gulf Islands as part of a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.
Participants in the annual Turning the TIde event, a five-day, 70-kilometre journey through the southern Gulf Islands as part of a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.

By Kendra Wong, Victoria News, July 21, 2016

Wading into the waters of the Salish Sea at Dolphin Dock at Swartz Bay was an emotional experience for Emily Rogers.

Usually, Rogers, along with hundreds of other Victoria residents, will take the B.C. Ferries to travel from one island to the next.

However, at 6:30 a.m. on a Friday morning three years ago, Rogers, along with roughly 80 other people, quietly glided their canoes, kayaks and sailboats into the waters next to the ferries to embark on a journey of the southern Gulf Islands to raise awareness of the Salish Sea and the importance of protecting the ecosystem.

She felt dwarfed sitting in her kayak next to the giant ferry, but quickly began to form an emotional and personal connection with the water she was bobbing in, in a way she’s never experienced before.

“It really changed the experience. Being down on the water that close and being able to touch the water and see the sea life underneath me gave me a newfound appreciation for the diversity of the ocean and how dynamic of an entity it is,” said Rogers.

The five-day paddle, known as Turning the Tide, started three years ago and is a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.

During the roughly 70-kilometre journey, which included exploring and camping at Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring islands, Rogers spent hours on coastal waters and encountered wildlife such as birds, otters, seals and other sea creatures. She gained an appreciation for the waters that many coastal communities rely on.

“It envelopes all your senses. Your hands are wet and somewhat sore from the salt that they’re bathing in. But you can reach down and feel the coolness of the ocean, you can look down and see the depth of the sea life. You can see the huge abundance and variety in the ecosystem that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to,” Rogers said of her first Turning the Tide experience.

“Your body is sore, you’re using your muscles for four days straight. But that’s what it takes to power one’s self through the ocean and I think it creates an intimate experience with the environment.”

This year’s paddle begins on Friday (today) and goes until Tuesday, July 26, beginning and ending at Dolphin Dock.

Victoria city councillor Ben Isitt has participated in the paddle with his family for the past three years and said the event helps build community on the water.

“We see a lot of threats to the Salish Sea and to the coast particularly relating to pipelines and tankers and the extraction of fossil fuels and even broader climate change impacts. For the communities that depend on the Salish Sea and for the marine ecosystem, it’s important to demonstrate our love for the coast and our commitment to protect it and that’s what Turning the Tide is all about,” said Isitt, who will be travelling in a canoe.

“It’s a paddle with a purpose.”

For more information visit turningthetide.ca.

Registration

Registration for Turning the Tide 2016 is now FULL. Thanks to everyone who has signed up and see you on the water on Friday July 22! If you aren’t able to join us this year, see you in 2017 for the next Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea!

THE TURNING THE TIDE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

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MEDIA RELEASE: People’s paddle returns to Salish Sea in summer 2016

ttt-2016March 1, 2016

SALISH SEA — A human-powered flotilla will return to the Southern Gulf Islands in the summer of 2016, spreading a message of hope and change for solutions beyond the carbon-based economy. “Turning the Tide: the People’s Paddle for the Salish Sea” will bring together up to one hundred kayakers, canoers, open-water swimmers and sailors in a 5-day, 4-night journey in July 2016.

The flotilla, which is celebrating its 3rd annual event, is open to the general public and intended to provide a family-friendly journey to raise awareness of social and ecological issues and build community among islanders in the Salish Sea.

“Turning the Tide is a unique opportunity to explore the Salish Sea while raising awareness of the risks of industrial development and alternatives we can pursue,” says Emily Rogers, a Victoria-area resident and member of the Turning the Tide organizing committee. “This paddle is a fun way to share knowledge and energy with people who love the Salish Sea.”

Turning the Tide 2016 will include stops on Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring Islands, with musical performances, educational workshops and outdoor recreational activities for paddlers and islanders.

“The Salish Sea bioregion is a tremendous resource: it is where we live, work and play,” says Sasha Kvakic, an outdoors enthusiast and Turning the Tide organizer. “I want my grandkids to have the chance to fish and hunt in a healthy coastal ecosystem. That’s why we need to build a broad based movement for the Salish Sea.”

Registration for Turning the Tide 2016 has opened at http://www.TurningtheTide.ca. The early-bird fee of $70 ($80 after April 1st) includes camping and dinner on all-islands. Members of the public should be sufficiently comfortable and skilled in the watercraft of their choice to undertake this 70-kilometre journey through the coastal waters of the Salish Sea.

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For further information, please contact:

Emily Rogers, Turning the Tide, 250-514-6211
Sasha Kvakic, Turning the Tide, 250-818-5565

Reflecting on Turning the Tide 2015

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Thank you for your participation in Turning the Tide 2015: The Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea!

What an amazing experience building our on-the-water community, united with shore communities on Salt Spring, Mayne, Pender and other islands for a shared love of the Salish Sea and a shared commitment to protect it!

We hope you can join next year’s paddle and we welcome your suggestions and help as we move forward with planning in the months ahead.

Right now, we are asking participants to share your photos and videos from Turning the Tide 2015, to help us compile an audiovisual archive and “Highlights” album for sharing on the website, social media and public presentations.

Please send photos or videos by email attachment to turningthetide.ca@gmail.com. If possible, it would be great if you can take a short video of yourself answering the question “What does Turning the Tide mean to me?” and upload it as well.

Thanks very much and keep in touch. Solidarity for the Salish Sea!

TURNING THE TIDE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

MEDIA RELEASE: Peoples’ paddle aims to Turn the Tide on tankers, tarsands and pipelines

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SALISH SEA — The second annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea will push off from the Dolphin Dock in North Saanich, BC on Friday morning at 8:00 am, mobilizing an on-the-water community to celebrate the Salish Sea and demonstrate the unwavering commitment of participants to protect the coast from the threat of tarsands, tankers and pipelines.

The people-powered flotilla, which is spearheaded by the Turning the Tide committee in concert with a number of organizations, with embark on a five-day paddle through the Southern Gulf Islands with overnight stops and community celebrations at Salt Spring, Mayne Island and Pender Island.

“One year after the first Peoples’ Paddle, our coast still faces multiple threats from tarsands, tankers, pipelines and a federal government keen to sell our natural wealth to the highest bidder,” says Turning the Tide organizer Sasha Kvakic. “As long as these threats continue, we will keep building our movement and demonstrating our love for the Salish Sea and our commitment to protect it.”

“Turning the Tide represents a 180 degree turn away from the fossil fuel economy and towards a restorative future. We want a sustainable future for coastal communities. Join us as we unite our islands in solidarity.”

The Turning the Tide paddle has reached capacity with 100 registered participants, from open-water swimmers, to sailors, to self-propelled paddlers travelling by canoe, kayak and rowboat. The participants range from toddlers to senior citizens and include residents from across British Columbia and elected officials from Port Hardy at the top of Vancouver Island to municipalities including Central Saanich and the City of Victoria.

“Turning the Tide builds community among people who are passionate about protecting the fragile and irreplaceable ecosystem of the Salish Sea,” says Emily Rogers, a member of the Turning the Tide organizer committee. “It is simultaneously a celebration of the ecology that we rely upon and a peaceful protest of industrial development that threatens it. We encourage everyone to join with us and turn the tide.”

The Turning the Tide paddle embarks from Dolphin Dock, adjacent to the BC Ferries Swartz Bay ferry terminal off Dolphin Road and Barnacle Road, on Friday July 24th at 8:00 am.

Community gatherings are taking place on Friday, July 24th at Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island, Saturday July 25th at Miners Bay Park, Mayne Island, and Sunday July 26th and Monday July 27th at Port Browning, Pender Island. The paddle returns to Vancouver Island on Tuesday July 28th. Visit http://www.TurningtheTide.ca to learn more and get involved.

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For further information, contact:

Sasha Kvakic, Turning the Tide, 250-818-5565
Emily Rogers, Turning the Tide, 250-514-6211

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Community Celebrations in the Southern Gulf Islands

We are excited to announce the line-up of Community Celebrations happening throughout the Southern Gulf Islands in conjunction with the Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea!

The flotilla provides a powerful opportunity for islanders from throughout the Salish Sea to join together to demonstrate our love for the coast and commitment to transition to a post-carbon future!

All welcome!

SALT SPRING ISLAND – FRIDAY JULY 24

Join us for the Community Celebration on Salt Spring Island this Friday July 24 at 5:00 pm at Ruckle Provincial Park as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea and our commitment to turn the tide toward a post-carbon future! All welcome!

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MAYNE ISLAND – SATURDAY JULY 25

Join us for the Community Celebration on Mayne Island this Saturday July 25 at Miners Bay Park as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea and our commitment to turn the tide toward a post-carbon future! All welcome!

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PENDER ISLAND – SUNDAY JULY 26 AND MONDAY JULY 27

Join us for the Community Celebration on Pender Island this Sunday July 26th and Monday July 27th at Port Browning as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea and our commitment to turn the tide toward a post-carbon future! All welcome!

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Turning the Tide Film Screening and 2015 Kickoff

Video created by Jennifer Bagelman, David Monk, Celina O’Connor, and Sarah Wiebe. 2014.

Sunday November 23, 6:30PM
Lacey Lou Tapas Lounge
1320 Broad Street, Victoria

Mark down Sunday Nov. 23 in your calendar to come out for the screening of a short film about Turning the Tide 2014: The Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea — and help kickoff organizing for the 2015 paddle!

The event is a fundraiser in partnership with Sierra Club and Raven Trust as part of the Pull-Together.ca fundraising campaign for First Nations legal funds to fight the Northern Gateway pipeline.

We hope you can make it on Nov. 23. If you are interested in helping to organize film screenings in the Gulf Islands or the 2015 paddle, let us know! info@turningthetide.ca. If you can’t make it, but would like to donate, you can do so here: pull-togetherdonate, or join our fundraising team by signing up for fundraising here and joining the Turning the Tide Team. Lets take care of our coast!

Join & share the event on Facebook

THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE (SEA)