DIEM Project

Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping

The Project

Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI) has been created for the Discovery Islands archipelago, 72,000 terrestrial hectares that includes Quadra, Cortes, Read, Maurelle, Sonora, Stuart, East Redonda, West Redonda and the Rendezvous Islands.  SEI is a classification and standardized information storage/retrieval system established by British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment in the early 1990s. This methodology identifies and maps ecosystems that are provincially rare and/or sensitive to development.

2012 Nov DIEM_StudyArea

The DIEM Project has also mapped “Enduring Features” for the Outer Fjordlands and Georgia Lowlands Ecosections, which includes our Discovery Islands study area. Enduring Features is a new model that combines elevation, bedrock, surficial geology and macro land form data, and illustrates the biophysical systems that support life forms. Enduring Features is more reliable than biological studies when projecting forward into a climate changed future and, combined with SEI, offers new perspective and a ‘pilot approach’ for landscape and site-level conservation planning.

DIEM’s Watershed Map documents the entire Discovery Islands drainage; a 1.5 million hectare system of watershed groups including Bute Inlet, where BC’s highest mountains dominate and influence the landscape. The watershed map is a new predictive methodology based on soil and moisture data.

DIEM’s rigorous standards ensure that mapped results will be accepted as provincial government data. The final maps are being compiled in an interactive and accessible website at www.DataBasin.org . The digital format is designed to support additional map layers that document other community knowledge, values, and interests. Community mapping is the ongoing second stage of the DIEM Project.

Project Timeline

Project Timeline Update 2013-14