The B.C. Marine Trails Network Association is looking to establish a water trail for kayakers in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017

Group aims to establish marine trail on Salish Sea

NANAIMO – Waterway would host paddle craft, small propelled boats on Georgia Strait.

The B.C. Marine Trails Network Association is looking to establish a water trail for kayakers in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

John Kimantas, acting project manager, said the non-profit’s idea is to create the Salish Sea Marine Trail blueway, which the association said would be a part of the Trans-Canada Trail and would include areas of the Gulf Islands, Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s absolutely waterway, but of course the premise is that it’s for paddle craft, small propelled boats, so the key to it is land access,” said Kimantas. “You can’t complete the entire trail without land access. It is a marine trail, but there is a land component to it.”

Kimantas said next steps include partnering with First Nations, as the trail goes through territory of 15 First Nations. Initial contact has been made with Snuneymuxw and Snaw-Naw-As First Nations, he said.

“We’re reaching out to them to engage them as partners,” said Kimantas.

“We want to respect the fact that we’re going to be going through traditional territory and perhaps in some cases, touching on culturally significant or historic areas, so we want to acknowledge that, but embrace it and work together to maximize the potential for the trail in that respect.”

The association has also applied for $50,000 in funding through the Canadian government’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which provides money for community infrastructure and is awaiting to hear if it has been successful.

Among the items the money will be used for are reconnaissance of prospective areas and site development, Kimantas said.

“I think we qualify and we qualify well, but we haven’t heard yet and who knows? We are asking for a small amount in the scheme of things and for, I think, a fairly significant project, so it would be disappointing if we didn’t get it, that’s for sure,” said Kimantas.

Kimantas made a presentation to the Regional District of Nanaimo Tuesday night and directors subsequently asked staff to prepare a report, which will be released at a later date.

The B.C. Marine Trails Network Association is looking to establish a water trail for kayakers in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

John Kimantas, acting project manager, said the non-profit’s idea is to create the Salish Sea Marine Trail blueway, which the association said would be a part of the Trans-Canada Trail and would include areas of the Gulf Islands, Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s absolutely waterway, but of course the premise is that it’s for paddle craft, small propelled boats, so the key to it is land access,” said Kimantas. “You can’t complete the entire trail without land access. It is a marine trail, but there is a land component to it.”

Kimantas said next steps include partnering with First Nations, as the trail goes through territory of 15 First Nations. Initial contact has been made with Snuneymuxw and Snaw-Naw-As First Nations, he said.

“We’re reaching out to them to engage them as partners,” said Kimantas.

“We want to respect the fact that we’re going to be going through traditional territory and perhaps in some cases, touching on culturally significant or historic areas, so we want to acknowledge that, but embrace it and work together to maximize the potential for the trail in that respect.”

The association has also applied for $50,000 in funding through the Canadian government’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which provides money for community infrastructure and is awaiting to hear if it has been successful.

Among the items the money will be used for are reconnaissance of prospective areas and site development, Kimantas said.

“I think we qualify and we qualify well, but we haven’t heard yet and who knows? We are asking for a small amount in the scheme of things and for, I think, a fairly significant project, so it would be disappointing if we didn’t get it, that’s for sure,” said Kimantas.

Kimantas made a presentation to the Regional District of Nanaimo Tuesday night and directors subsequently asked staff to prepare a report, which will be released at a later date.

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