What is the GWI?

The Gorge Waterway Initiative (GWI) 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.

speakerseriesinvasives4The GWI was established in January 2005, when a diverse group of non-government organizations, landowner organizations and local governments came together to develop a common approach to environmental stewardship of the Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet. They have been meeting regularly ever since.

The GWI operates by consensus, and is well positioned to help coordinate different jurisdictions and foster partnerships between municipalities, community groups, landowners, universities and colleges and others.

The main roles of the GWI are to:

  • Provide a forum for the exchange and sharing of information regarding Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet and their watersheds among community and local government representatives;
  • Conduct community education and outreach regarding the values of the Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet and their watersheds, and the associated environmental concerns, potential impacts and solutions;
  • Pursue a common approach to the environmental management of the Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet and their watersheds by community members, landowners and regulatory agencies.

Area of Interest

The geographical focus for the Gorge Waterway Initiative includes the Gorge Waterway, a six-kilometer long arm of the sea above the Selkirk Trestle, Portage Inlet and the surrounding watersheds of the Colquitz River, Craigflower Creek, Cecelia Creek, Gorge Creek and Hospital Creek.

Gorge Waterway extends six kilometres to Portage InletThe GWI is primarily interested in the waterway above the Selkirk Trestle, an area that spans four municipalities: Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and View Royal. This area is considered a tidal estuary and is part of a federal migratory bird sanctuary that supports a biologically diverse population of plants and animals.

Learn more about the ecology and history of the Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet.


The following maps show the area of interest for the GWI:

Our Vision

A healthy environment in perpetuity for all life in the Gorge Waterway, Portage Inlet, their watersheds and communities for the well-being of present and future generations.