Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas


160 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-894898-32-X
DDC 912.711'28





Edited by Sheila Harrington and Judi Stevenson
Reviewed by Ann Turner

Ann Turner is the financial and budget manager of the University of
British Columbia Library.


“Salish Sea” is a new name that is gaining acceptance for the body
of water between Vancouver Island and the Canadian and U.S. mainlands,
more usually identified as the Strait of Georgia for the Canadian
portion and as Puget Sound on the American side of the international
boundary. It is a more convenient and inclusive term for projects
involving the entire area, such as the one that is the subject of this

The Islands of the Salish Sea Community Mapping Project was sparked by
an earlier project in Britain—the Parish Maps Project—in which local
residents and artists collaborated to produce maps of their “home
place” that recorded what is special about it to them, be it
historical, cultural, natural features, or wildlife. The idea of mapping
cherished places caught on in the communities of the Gulf Islands—the
islands in the Salish Sea—and ultimately involved more than 3000
people who gathered information and communicated with each other about
their home places. The project culminated in the production and public
showing of 30 maps, and finally in their publication in this atlas. It
covered the 17 largest and most populated of the more than 500 islands
in the area. Their maps are reproduced in the atlas, along with
descriptions of the project on each island and information about the
island’s history, resources, and special features. An additional six
regional maps cover the Wsanec (Saanich) island group and topics common
to many of the islands, such as marine life, economics, energy and
transportation systems, sites protected by the Islands Trust, and
endangered ecosystems.

This is an atlas unlike any other, containing artistic renderings of
what matters to the people who live on these islands, and what makes
them home. It is a beautiful and touching tribute to the spirit of
co-operation and caring that initiated the project in the first place
and drew so many together to complete it.


“Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,