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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Information Circular 2018-3


Saanich Inlet, southern Vancouver Island, geology of an Aspiring Global Geopark  


In anticipation of a proposal to the UNESCO Global Geopark Network, the Canadian National Committee for Global Geoparks has accepted Saanich Inlet and its watershed on southern Vancouver Island as an Aspiring Geopark. This Geopark initiative, led by the Saanich Inlet Protection Society, is seeking the support of local residents, First Nation communities, businesses, marine groups and scientists from government, universities, and industry.  Geoparks are community-driven enterprises that reflect the desires and values of the people living in them. This Geopark will protect the natural resources and cultural heritage of Saanich Inlet while encouraging environmentally sound economic development. Geoheritage recognizes the continuum between the geological record and cultural values.

Like the more than 75 Geoparks worldwide, Saanich Inlet has an internationally significant geologic record that has been intensively researched on land and in the sea. It also has a long human history, enduring cultural traditions, vibrant communities, and environmentally respectful commercial activities.

The Saanich Inlet region offers exceptional opportunities for public education. It includes the City of Victoria, a major global tourist destination. Although small, the region is rich in venues for experiential learning about oceanography, tectonics, paleogeographic reconstructions, the most recent ice age, and modern coastal and deep-water processes. Easy access to the inlet’s geology is provided by extensive hiking trails, bike paths, road cuts, public beaches, and docking facilities, many of which are in provincial and municipal parks. Visitors will gain an increased appreciation of our natural heritage and a better grasp of the interactive feedbacks between land, air, water, organisms, and human activity. They will also gain an improved understanding of society’s attempts to mitigate, and become more resilient to, problems like climate change, environmental contamination, and geologic hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, and wildfires.



View Information Circular 2018-3 (PDF, 8.6 MB)



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