Nanaimo Estuary

An estuary is an area where fresh water from rivers meets the salt water from the ocean and creates an environment of incredible biological diversity. They are extremely sensitive ecosystems with a wide assortment of plants and animals. 


(image by HA Photography)

The Nanaimo River estuary is the largest estuary on Vancouver Island and the fifth largest in British Columbia. It is a highly productive ecosystem that supports a large number of plant life, fish and wildlife species.

The estuary is an important traditional use area for the Snuneymuxw First Nations. It is also extensively used for industrial, as well as recreational purposes by the surrounding population.

Nanaimo Estuary Management Plan

In 2006, the Nanaimo Estuary Management Plan was completed.  The plan recommends working to balance the uses in the estuary with the need to maintain the existing ecosystem and to work together to improve habitat values.

Last updated: March 14, 2024

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