A BioBlitz is a biological inventory conducted to identify as many species as possible in a defined area and period of time.
Hakai Institute scientists and the False Creek Friends Society, in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and other local organizations, organized a wildly successful scientific BioBlitz in Vancouver’s False Creek. September 2022, and held related activities from April to September.
The False Creek BioBlitz 2022 project is part of the Northeast Pacific Biodiversity Action Network, a Hakai Institute-led project seeking endorsement under the UN Decade for Ocean Sciences (“The Ocean Decade”).
What is a Scientific BioBlitz?
A “scientific” BioBlitz ( as opposed to a “community” BioBlitz) uses robust protocols to collect and analyze organisms and environmental conditions in order to more deeply understand terrestrial and marine environments.
English Bay and False Creek have interesting and significant geographic, biological and cultural history. The heavy industrialization during the 19th and 20th centuries reshaped Vancouver’s shoreline, particularly in False Creek–once five times its present size–and degraded habitats that once included a large tidal mudflat, thick eelgrass, abundant clam beds, and dense forests of spruce, fir and hemlock. However, following the cessation of industrial activity this waterway has begun to recover, with a number of shore and seabirds, harbour seals and even the occasional whale returning to the area. However, we know relatively little about its current biodiversity. And despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people travel along, over, and on it each day, local use of and connection to the False Creek waterway itself remains limited.
This project is crucial to better understanding False Creek’s current ecological status and catalyzing the kind of community-driven stewardship required to revitalize and protect it for future generations. All species will be verified, to the best of our ability, on iNaturalist. Voucher samples will be collected and transferred to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and genomic data and specimen metadata will be available on OBIS, GBIF, and CIOOS. Following the BioBlitz, a gathering will be held to discuss results and support the co-development of future initiatives.