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Coastal Ocean Research Institute 

Credit: Lance Barrett-Lennard

A New Institute

We have establishing a new, independent, multidisciplinary, collaboration-based, institute to fill a major gap in understanding and managing our coastal ocean environments. The Coastal Ocean Research Institute will systematically collect, analyze, and publicly communicate data describing the health of coastal ecosystems on Canada’s West Coast.

killer whale

Determining Impacts

Effective management and conservation begins with understanding. The influence of human activities on coastal ecosystems is clearly evident and growing, but currently there is a limited understanding of the state of our ocean environment. Are we damaging the productivity of ecosystems or endangering species, and imperiling our future? We believe answering this question requires a centralized science capacity to acquire, analyze, and summarize data. This will also provide a baseline or benchmark, for comparison in determining the impacts of current and future changes.

Commitment To Conservation

Established the Coastal Ocean Research Institute as part of our commitment to the long-term conservation of our aquatic and coastal ecosystems. The Institute is a semi-autonomous, non-advocacy-based research centre constituted to work in broad collaboration with governments, academia, NGO’s, industry, and others.


A Permanent Commitment 

The Coastal Ocean Research Institute will collaborate with scientists and organizations/agencies who undertake research within, and on, BC’s coastal ecosystems. In collaboration with partners, the Institute will aggregate, analyze and annotate those data, and will publish a set of indices describing the health and condition of Canada’s west coast marine ecosystems. The target audience for these indices is the general public, policy makers and ocean managers. The commitment is permanent.

Initial Research Programs

The Institute operates within the our overall non-profit organizational structure, but functions independently through oversight by a separate Management Board. It is funded by a consortium made up of the NGOs, individual donors, sponsor companies, foundations and others, and it will operates as an impartial entity entirely independent of its funders.

There are curerntly three Research Programs managed under the Institute.

Killer whale Credit: Lance Barrett-Lennard

Marine Mammal
Research Program

We have s a long tradition of research on cetaceans, including the world's longest continuous study of killer whales. 

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Howe Sound
Research Group

The Howe Sound Group and our Fish Research Team conduct natural history studies and documentary work, and monitor depleted stocks. 

Learn More


Ocean Pollution
Research Program

The Ocean Pollution Research Program is a research initiative that conducts international-caliber scientific research on ocean pollution.

Learn More


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