Welcome!

birdwatching-at-lagoonFind out more about this unique ecosystem and how you can help protect it.

Are you a Bird Watcher? Check out the eBird Canada listing for Esquimalt Lagoon.

Greater Victoria NatureHood

hoodedmerganserELSI, GWI, 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 3 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.

Coburg Peninsula on Shaw TV

In February 2016, Lorraine Scollan of Shaw TV did a piece on some of the issues at Esquimalt Lagoon and Coburg Peninsula.

European Green Crab Monitoring:

The invasive European Green Crab (EGC) has recently been found in Esquimalt Lagoon through a monitoring program led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The EGC is of concern because it has the potential to destroy eel grass meadows, which are important nursery habitat for herring and salmon. The crabs also eat local clams, oysters, and mussels, and compete with other native crabs.

The DFO is asking for the public to watch for the invasive crab while at Esquimalt Lagoon and in other marine areas around Southern Vancouver Island. The EGC is often green, though not always. Its main distinguishing feature are five spines beside each eye.

Sightings of the EGC can be reported to the DFO. Members of the public are asked to submit a photograph, GPS location, date, and description of distinguishing features.

The DFO also runs a training and monitoring program for ELSI volunteers to help watch for EGCs in the lagoon. For more information please contact the ELSI coordinator.

What is ELSI?

The Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative is a broad coalition of community and environmental groups, institutions, the business community, recreational user groups and government (federal, First Nations, provincial and municipal) working together to protect, enhance and restore Esquimalt Lagoon and the Coburg Peninsula. ELSI focuses on environmental issues in Esquimalt Lagoon, on adjacent lands within the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary and in surrounding watersheds. ELSI conducts outreach to residents, businesses and institutions in the Esquimalt Lagoon watershed.

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

Migratory Bird Sanctuary infractions: 1.888.569.5656 (federal Wildlife Officer)

Read the latest ELSI Annual Report

Regional Invasive Species Website

Check out the CRISP (Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership) website.

Report invasive species, learn about high priority species, download fact sheets and more.

ELSI Steering Committee meeting schedule 2020

Meetings are held quarterly, from 2:30-4:30pm. Currently meetings are being held virtually as a COVID-19 precaution. Meetings are open to members of the public.

  • January 21 Royal Roads University, Grant Rm 314
  • April 28 cancelled
  • July 28 (virtual meeting)
  • October 27 (virtual meeting)