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 World Fisheries Trust - Call 778.430.7585 or 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. Learn more >>

Point Ellice Shoreline Restoration: 2007 - 2014

GWI and community volunteers spent 1000s of hours restoring the woodland shoreline at Point Ellice House. Read more about the Point Ellice Shoreline Restoration.

Craigflower Bridge Interpretive Signs

craigflower-sign3-hhThe 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. Read more >>

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)

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 2019 GWI Annual Report

Learn More About Regional Invasive Species

Click here to learn about high priority species, download fact sheets, report invasive species and more.

GWI Meeting Schedule 2021

Steering committee meetings are currently being held virtually due to COVID-19 precautions. The 2021 meeting schedule is as follows:

January 20
April 21
July 21
October 20

All meetings run from 7-9 pm.