Prior to 1996, local single-purpose environmental groups and community organizations focused on specific issues such as pesticide use, watershed integrity, logging practices and park proposals. There were some successes. However, we realized that the issues of biodiversity protection were multiplying and a unified regional conservation organization was needed. Every active environmental group on the Sunshine Coast joined the new Sunshine Coast Conservation Association.
The SCCA has become the unifying voice of conservation for Sunshine Coast residents, the official umbrella organization for over 30 groups, working within the law and using appropriate advocacy techniques. Now, nearly 20 years later, new groups on the upper and lower Sunshine Coast continue to join and to learn advocacy and community-building skills from us. When conservation problems arise, people turn to the SCCA for help in dealing with government and raising public awareness.
Some Past Accomplishments
- We initiated a precedent-setting legal challenge before the BC Supreme Court, in which marbled murrelet nesting habitat was protected by a decision to overturn logging approvals.
- We took the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals to Supreme Court in order to hold their members publicly accountable for their actions.
- We made North Americas first successful complaint against one of BC's largest logging companies through its own certification program with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
- We helped to stop logging and protect habitat in key ecological areas and public watersheds, such as the Ambrose Lake Ecological Reserve, Storm Bay, Hidden Grove, and Carlson Point.
- We participated in local projects, such as the recovery plan for the endangered Sakinaw sockeye salmon and the Sunshine Coast Clean Air Society's applications to control pesticide use, and completed substantial projects with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Habitat Stewardship Program, Living Oceans Society and Seachange Marine Conservation Society.
- We worked successfully with a broad group of local and national conservation organizations, industry stakeholders and government officials to protect the Glass Sponge Reefs in the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia).