A flotilla of 80 kayaks will make its way around the Salish Sea beginning Friday.
Organizers hope the five-day journey, called Turning the Tide, will raise awareness of social and ecological issues, as well as build community among coastal residents.
The event, in its third year, started as a protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipeline projects, said organizer Sasha Kvakic. “Now it’s expanded to be a celebration of our coast and doing what it takes to protect it.”
Kvakic said the shift comes as public awareness about the potential threats of pipelines and tanker traffic has grown.
“It seems like the atmosphere has changed around these megaprojects,” he said. “So we’ve shifted from a protest orientation to more of an inward-focused, celebratory event.”
The paddlers will depart from Dolphin Dock, next to B.C. Ferries’ Swartz Bay terminal, at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Stops include Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring islands, and there will be musical performances, educational workshops and outdoor recreational activities that connect paddlers with islanders.
Talks and workshops will centre around creating a post-carbon economy, as well as sustainable social and ecological systems, Kvakic said.
The event is sold out.