On Friday, October 9, 2015, SIMRES accepted an Islands Trust Community Stewardship Award, in the Organization Category. “The Community Stewardship Awards program gives us the opportunity to formally recognize islanders for their dedication and commitment to ensuring our unique island amenities, environment and culture are preserved for generations to come,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council.
The Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society is a volunteer organization that brings together marine researchers, educators and individuals to increase public awareness about the marine life of our Pacific region and to enhance understanding of the relationship between human activity and the ecosystem in the Salish Sea.
The group was established in 2012 following a community-based economic development conference on the island. While the group received start-up funding from the Saturna Island Community Club, Saturna Island Lion’s Club and the Capital Regional District, it is supported mostly by community funding and through educational events.
One of the projects organized by SIMRES is the Saturna Environment Awareness or SeaTalks, a series of interactive presentations and workshops by researchers, scientists, local experts, divers, marine conservationists, interpreters, film makers and photographers on a range of marine life topics.
Since 2012, SIMRES has delivered over 15 SeaTalks, two major symposia and a number of workshops with organizations such as the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Vancouver Aquarium, University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada, Washington’s Center for Whale Research and University of British Columbia.
Since its inception in 2002, the Islands Trust Council has given 76 awards to individuals and organizations across the entire Trust Area.
The Islands Trust is a federation of special-purpose local government bodies representing 25,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and another 10,000 non-resident property-owners. The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities of the Islands Trust Area through planning and regulating land use, development management, education, cooperation with other agencies, and land conservation. The area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5200 square kilometres.