Fraser Basin Council
Home  |  CONTACT US: Offices AND Staff  |  Site Map

FBC Facilitation Support

Port of Vancouver ECHO Program


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.

Our Vision

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

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

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

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351

We are grateful at the Fraser Basin Council Society to live and work on the unceded ancestral
territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.