The ShoreZone ProjectPrince Rupert, British Columbia

The ShoreZone Project profile was created for The Shoreline Project, an online documentary that showcases the work of innovators who are responding to threats of massive development, destructive storms, and rising sea levels around the world.

As a collaborating director for The Shoreline Project, I am always on the search for stories of individuals and organizations that are working to create a more sustainably managed, resilient coastline. I chose to document the ShoreZone Project because their coastal mapping offers invaluable data to a wide range of actors – from climatologists, to oil spill response planners, to First Nations such as the Metlakatla working to document and preserve archeological sites.

The ShoreZone Project, with the support of dozens of partners, have captured millions of aerial photos, videos, and digital habitat data that extends from California to Alaska along the Pacific coast. Their vast data bank improves the ability of coastal managers to understand, respond to, and plan for the dynamic coastal changes taking place in the Pacific Northwest – changes such as increasing storm frequency, erosion, and offshore oil and gas development. This information is available online to the public for free. To view the imagery visit the ShoreZone website.

During work on this profile I travelled to Prince Rupert, BC, and accompanied the ShoreZone survey team in the helicopter and on the ground as they collected thousands of photos and video of the surrounding intertidal area. This imagery will be used by the Prince Rupert Port Authority to inventory sensitive ecological zones and plan shipping routes and spill responses, and by the Metlakatla First Nation to identify archeological sites within their territory.

The highlight of this project was visiting the community of Metlakatla and meeting with members of the stewardship council to discuss how they utilize ShoreZone imagery to re-discover ancestral village sites, fishing grounds, and clam gardens.

In the words of Will Nelson, a biologist of Coastal Tsimshian descent working for the Metlakatla Stewardship office: “From a coastal Tsimshian perspective we’ve been here since time immemorial. We were stewards of the land and we hope to continue doing that.”

 

  • Year / 2015
  • Location / Prince Rupert, BC
  • Equipment / Canon 5D Mark III, Sennheiser Lav G3 Mic
  • Roles / Director, Camera, Editor

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