If you are visiting Vancouver Island, you will find yourself surrounded by water. Of course, there is the Pacific Ocean to the West…but do you know what body of water borders the Island to the East? It’s called the Salish Sea! Here are some fun facts about this particular aquatic setting.
- It Connects B.C. to Washington state
The Salish Sea is a waterway that touches upon Vancouver Island, the B.C. province proper, as well as the coast of Washington. There are ferries that can take you from Vancouver and/or Victoria all the way to Seattle!
- There is a preservation and learning centre dedicated to the Salish Sea.
It’s called the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea and it’s located in Sidney, B.C., on Vancouver Island. They offer tours and events, activities for kids, a lecture series, and a gift shop. It’s listed as the largest aquarium on the whole of Vancouver Island, too.
- It is also called the Georgia Strait, Puget Sound, and Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The first use of “Salish Sea” came about in 1988 by marine biologist Bert Webber. His goal was to emphasize the importance of protecting aquatic ecosystems, including this one. He didn’t intend to replace the “old” names, just draw attention to the area with a new title.
- The Coast Salish Indigenous People’s territory touches both B.C. and Washington.
The Salish Sea was a very important connection for trading goods amongst other groups that share cultural and linguistic origins. The Salish share over 23 different languages and have occupied the area long before Europeans landed here.
- The Salish Sea is Home to 253 known fish species and 37 aquatic mammals.
These include hagfish, lampreys, ratfish, mackerel sharks, cusk-eels, dogfish sharks, carps, trout, sturgeons, killifishes, orca whales, and plenty more.
- You might see whale pods while taking the ferry from Vancouver City to the Island.
If you get lucky, you might get to see a whale or whale pod passing by while you are crossing the Salish Sea. The best time to spot a whale is May through October, making summertime a peak time to do so.
If you’re staying with us in Qualicum Beach or Parksville, you will get an up-close-and-personal with the Salish Sea, AKA Georgia Strait, AKA Puget Sound, AKA the Strait of Juan de Fuca. You are sure to be greeted by beautiful, expansive beaches and mild, friendly waters.
Don’t have vacation plans yet? Contact us for a list of available vacation rentals in Qualicum Beach and Parksville. We welcome the opportunity to help you book the perfect getaway!