The Regional District of Nanaimo will vote on whether to initiate a 10-year deal with the B.C. Marine Trail Network Association regarding the Salish Sea Marine Trail. Pictured here, paddlers at an opening event flotilla in September. (News Bulletin file)

Regional District of Nanaimo will co-operate on marine trail project

RDN will initiate a 10-year agreement with the B.C. Marine Trail Network Association

The Regional District of Nanaimo will initiate a 10-year deal with the B.C. Marine Trail Network Association that will see signage posted along the Salish Sea Marine Trail.

The trail consists of waterways off Vancouver and Vancouver Island and accesses five regional district parks, including at Nelson Road Community boat launch in Cedar, designated as a marine trail access site, and Descanso Bay Regional Park (marine trail camp site) and El Verano boat launch (access site) on Gabriola Island.

Signs will also be posted at Blueback Drive Community (access site) and Moorecroft Regional (day-use site) parks in Nanoose Bay.

Under terms of the agreement, the association will provide five 13 centimetre-square “metal-backed composite signs.” Descriptions of sites, which will include information on parking, site designation, facilities and governing authority, will be used by the association when describing RDN parks along the trail.

The district will promote the trail in brochures and other promotional items for Descanso Bay park.

There were concerns expressed about potential parking issues and illegal camping during discussion at the district’s committee of the whole meeting, and Jim Kipp, Nanaimo director, said the trail will help promote the region.

“It’s part of our West Coast environment and because you own the waterfront you should not be thinking of limiting anyone’s access to this beautiful waterfront,” said Jim Kipp, Nanaimo director. “That’s a bit beyond me and we’re promoting tourism … we’re bringing up petty little things in this, when we’re trying to get a marine trail for B.C. done and tourism.”

The association approached the regional district in July 2016, seeking assistance in adding trail signage along the route.

The co-operation agreement will run until 2028.

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