Maple Bay

Project Area Name:
Maple Bay
Project Manager Name: Guy Shockey

Area Website:

Area Social Media:

Area Description: Maple Bay Marine Park is located at the base of Maple Bay on Vancouver Island, BC, adjacent to the Maple Bay Government Dock. Maple Bay is roughly half way between Victoria, BC and Nanaimo, BC, the two largest cities on Vancouver Island, BC. The Marine Park is a popular local dive site that is visited by dive clubs and dive shops from all over Vancouver Island. It has easy access with a 25 yard walk from the paved parking lot to the waters edge. There is also a guideline from the corner piling of the dock to the actual reef itself so it is easy to locate the reef. The reef is found between 40’ and 65’ of water depending on tidal conditions and runs SW and NE and is approximately 75 yards. It begins approximately 100 yards from the shore and is surrounded by mostly sandy bottom.

Half way between the beach and the reef, there is an former dumping ground where the bottom is littered with old bottles, tires, and assorted items originally dumped off a barge. These items are now mostly covered in marine life and are home to many species of fish, crabs and invertebrates such as Great Pacific Octopus. The reef itself is home to many resident GPO’s as well as an assortment of indigenous rockfish and filter feeders. It is a unique environment that attracts divers from near and far due to its easy access and variety of life. Because it is an isolated reef with high diver traffic, it is also easily damaged. Moreover, because it is surrounded by mostly sand, the reef attracts most of the local marine life and is a good indicator of marine life health in the entire Bay and surrounding area. 

The PB: Maple Bay volunteer team has identified three Project goals:

  • Monitor the marine life population by conducting regular “fish counts” using pre-printed wetnotes that are based on an excel spreadsheet for tracking population trends of various marine species such as rockfish and Great Pacific Octopus
  • Conduct ongoing visibility and temperature surveys throughout the year
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with local dive clubs and dive shops to encourage their participation in Project Baseline and hopefully develop further projects on Vancouver Island


Project Baseline has been at the forefront of increasing awareness of Florida reef decline as well as monitoring the health index for nearly 70 marine and freshwater environments world-wide since 2009. Watch as Project Baseline takes CNN underwater for special media coverage on Florida reefs -