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Guardians of

Mid-Island Estuaries Society

Our Mission

To conserve and enhance the health and productivity of estuaries

Goals and Objectives

To rehabilitate degraded estuarine marshes, by

  • applying established and innovative restoration techniques to recovering sites and additional sites; and

  • integrating western science with Indigenous and local knowledge

To reduce grazing pressure on degraded estuarine marshes, by

  • providing scientific evidence and science-based recommendations to agencies responsible for managing local resident and regionally migrant Canada Geese; and

  • supporting harvest, hunting, and other management techniques that reduce locally overabundant Canada Goose populations. 

To maintain functioning estuaries in a changing climate, by

  • helping local governments and Indigenous communities document trends and manage climate-related events affecting estuaries. 

Degraded Craig Creek estuary, 2018


In the late 1990s, members of the Guardians led efforts to reduce regional Canada Goose populations by sterilizing eggs and promoting additional hunting seasons and increased bag limits. From 2008 to 2012, the Guardians and other volunteers banded and collared nearly 300 geese at the Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, and Craig Creek estuaries. We then surveyed both marked and unmarked Canada Geese in the region, to learn more about their seasonal abundance and use of the estuaries and other habitats. Our 2015 Canada Goose Management Strategy is a testament to our commitment to find solutions that will benefit our estuaries and the many fish and wildlife species that depend on them. 


We work closely with local governments, regulatory agencies, and First Nations to achieve our mutual goals and objectives. The City of Parksville, which adopted all of our strategy's recommendations in principle, put forth resolutions endorsed at the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities meeting and the Union of BC Municipalities convention in 2017. We continue to support our partners by providing scientific information, and by promoting multi-jurisdictional collaboration and a coordinated, adaptive management approach for Canada Goose management and estuary rehabilitation. 

Goose banding roundup, Campbell River, 2015
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