Welcome to the Gorge Waterway Initiative!

The mission of the GWI is to protect, enhance and restore the health of the Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet, their watersheds and communities, for the enjoyment and well-being of present and future generations.

Gorge Waterway Nature House

Visit the GWI display and learn more about the Gorge Waterway and its ecosystems at the family-friendly Nature House in Esquimalt Gorge Park.

Nature House programs can be booked through the Gorge Waterway Action Society via email


Greater Victoria NatureHood

GWI, ELSI and several other regional conservation partners collaborated in 2017 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Convention Act. The goals were to improve stewardship of the ecosystems that support birds and other wildlife in our urban centres, and to raise awareness of the three sanctuaries in the CRD. A brochure was developed to highlight the unique features of our three local bird sanctuaries:

In 2018 our region was declared a NatureHood, in recognition of the excellent opportunities here for people of all ages and abilities to get out into nature in an urban setting. In 2021 the Greater Victoria NatureHood map was released, which showcases natural areas and native species found throughout the region, including the Gorge Waterway. 

Featured Projects

Friends of Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary

This group is working to raise awareness of all the amazing birds and wildlife in the midst of this busy urban waterway. October 27, 2023 is the 100th birthday of the Victoria Harbour MBS


Craigflower Bridge Interpretive Signs

The GWI worked with the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, and staff from View Royal and Saanich to design and install interpretive signs on Craigflower Bridge when it was rebuilt in 2014. Learn more Interpretive Signs on Craigflower Bridge.

Who to contact about spills, pollution, and other issues in the watershed:

EMBC - Emergency Management BC: 1.800.663.3456

  • Ask for a Dangerous Goods Incident Report (DGIR) # and a call back. This is your file number to use on other calls

RAPP - Report All Polluters and Poachers: 1.877.952.7277

DFO - Observe, Record, Report line (Department of Fisheries & Oceans): 1.800.465.4336

FFHPP - Fisheries and Fish Habitat Protection Program: 1.866.845.6776

Dead bats reporting (regarding possible spread of White Nose Syndrome): 1.855.922.2287
Live bats: let Habitat Acquisition Trust know: 250.995.2428

Dead raptors: Call 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).Click here for more information.

Migratory Bird Sanctuary infractions: 1.888.569.5656 (federal Wildlife Officer)

What is the GWI?

The Gorge Waterway Initiative is a collaborative, community-driven group of organizations concerned with protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural features of the Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet and the surrounding watersheds.

Read the 2022 GWI Year in Review 

Regional Invasive Species

Visit the CRD website to learn about high priority species, download fact sheets, report invasive species and more.

GWI Meeting Schedule 2024

The 2024 GWI steering committee meeting schedule is as follows:

January 17
April 17
July 17
October 16

All meetings run from 6:30-8:30 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Please contact us to RSVP.