Places Protected in the Islands

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Sandbanks Covenant protects a strip of spectacular coastal sand bluffs along the southwest shore of Sidney Island.  Sand bluffs are especially vulnerable to destruction and erosion from development and are one of the rarest landscapes in the Gulf Islands.  The Sidney Island landowners have made sure this beautiful feature will remain undeveloped by protecting the bluffs with a conservation covenant.  Cliff Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, and Belted Kingfisher thrive in the coastal bluffs.  The natural erosion from the sandbanks is the single major source of sand for nearby Sidney Spit.

The Sidney Island conservation covenants, eight in all, protect 53 hectares of the island's most fragile ecosystems.  The creation of the covenants coincided with a subdivision of nearby land for development and sustainable forestry.  In creating the covenants, the landowners wanted to achieve balance in their community, by protecting special areas on the island while making it possible to selectively harvest the forest and build houses.  With most of the covenants along the shoreline, the protected areas ensure the natural beauty of Sidney Island - as seen from the water by sailors and kayakers - will remain forever.

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The Steils and the Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil now enjoy a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 10/02/16
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