Georgia Strait Alliance is the only citizens' group focused on protecting the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia – Canada's most at-risk natural environment, and the place where 70% of British Columbians live, work and play. We are committed to a future for our region that includes clean water and air, healthy wild salmon runs, rich marine life and natural areas, and sustainable communities.

February 3, 2011

New year, new look

Now that we’re full on into February, it might seem a bit late to be talking about the beginning of a New Year. But let’s just say I’ve aligned myself with the Chinese New Year – Happy Year of the Rabbit – and we’ll leave it at that!

And really, I needed a bit more time anyway to catch my breath after 2010, especially the last few months. With three 20th anniversary celebration events in the fall alone, a big win in our legal action to protect the orca, and planning for a busy year ahead – it was a heady and hectic end to a great year!

Looking back, I have to say, it was truly a wonderful experience to have so many of our members and supporters take part in our 20th Anniversary Celebrations around the region. I experienced a real pleasure in meeting so many of you and hearing stories that covered the breadth of our organization’s existence. It renewed my belief that the work GSA does is deeply important to our supporters, and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the future.

Now enough about 2010 – because so far, 2011 has been off to an excellent start. Our Clean Marine BC Program is now under the new leadership of Lisa Winbourne - we welcome Lisa to GSA! Mike Richards, who wraps up 10 years at the helm of that successful program, is now taking on the challenge of Director of Special Projects, a new position for GSA. We also welcome David Fields, who is joining GSA’s Salmon Aquaculture program team until early June. New faces and new energy are a great way to start the year!

On the campaign front, the New Year has already brought big news, both good and bad. We celebrated Agrimarine and the launch of their first commercial-scale closed containment tank installation, while we decried Fisheries and Oceans Canada for appealing parts of a ground breaking ruling around the protection of our southern resident orcas (two steps forward, one step back!). These two examples are bookends - one looks for new ways of doing things to protect wildlife and promote a healthy economy, while another just keeps doing things the same old way, to the detriment of our environment and a species we all hold dear.

But we prefer to focus on the new energy abounding here at GSA, and in the spirit of ‘something new’, if you've gone to our website, you'll have noticed something new. After many months of passionate discussion, we are very excited to launch our new logo! It’s a fresh look that continues to represent the long-time passion and strengths of GSA: our effectiveness at connecting land and sea, and the ‘caretaker’ responsibility we have for the Strait, just as a mother orca has for her new calf. We hope you like it too!

And last but not least – thanks to all of you who continue to support GSA in our work, with your time and with your hard earned dollars. You have made all our successes in the last 20 years possible. If you aren’t a GSA donor yet, please consider making a donation today and joining one of the most effective groups in BC, and the only one with its eyes on the health of our Strait.

May 2011 be good to you!

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