Fraser Basin Council
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FBC Facilitation Support

Port of Vancouver ECHO Program

 Orcas

The Fraser Basin Council serves as a facilitator for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s program called Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO). Launched in 2014, ECHO is aimed at better understanding and reducing the cumulative effects of shipping on whales on the southern coast of British Columbia.

As whales and ships share the same waters, many of the ships calling at the Port of Vancouver travel through critical habitat of the endangered southern resident killer whales, as well as through other areas of importance to whales such as the northern resident killer whales and humpback, fin, blue and sei whales.

Many different organizations operate commercial vessels within the port’s jurisdiction. The ECHO program takes a collaborative approach to addressing and understanding the cumulative effects of vessel activity on whales.

The program involves Canadian and US partners and advisors from across government agencies, the marine transportation industry, Indigenous communities and environmental groups. It is guided by the advice and input of an advisory working group and associated technical committees.

The ECHO program has run three underwater noise reduction initiatives, which include voluntary seasonal ship slow-down and distancing trials in key areas of southern resident killer whale habitat. In 2021 these measures were shown to reduce underwater sound intensity by up to 55% in key foraging areas for killer whales. In 2022 86% of all large commercial ships had slowed down or stayed distanced from whales in the seasonal (June-October) period while moving through key areas of southern resident killer whale critical habitat — at Swiftsure Bank, Haro Strait and Boundary Pass and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Over 80 marine transportation entities participated in these measures.

Learn more about the project at Port of Vancouver ECHO program.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:
www.pluginbc.ca

Emotive:
www.emotivebc.ca

ReTooling for Climate Change:
www.retooling.ca

FBC Youth:
fbcyouthprogram.ca

Climate Action Toolkit:
www.toolkit.bc.ca 

Salmon-Safe BC
www.salmonsafe.ca

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative
www.realizingundrip.ca

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350

E: