ESA Mapping Initiative

What are ESAs?

Natural areas with special features, habitat, and ecological value are Environmentally Significant Areas. Bald Eagle nesting sites and Garry Oak ecosystems are two examples. 

We have an ESA Atlas to show you where these occur. Take a look at the current ESA Atlas (2011).

What is the ESA Mapping Initiative?

Since 2011, the ESA mapping initiative identifies and maps these at-risk and fragile ecosystems that were missed. We also have new inventories to add to the atlas.  We can then use this information to protect them.

How do we decide what is an ESA?

  • A Technical Advisory Committee was established.
  • It included members from the federal, provincial and local government, as well as the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team.
  • They developed priorities and criteria for evaluating new ESAs.
  • The public suggested sites they believe we should include in the Atlas to Saanich Environmental Services.
  • Our consultant researched additional sites to include.
  • Landowners gave the consultant permission to access their lands.
  • Our consultant assessed new sites on the ground and by aerial photograph.
  • Our consultant presented her methods and findings at public presentations.

Which inventories will we update?

We’re updating the following inventories since they have been revised since the last edition of the Atlas.

We’ll consider another new inventory for the next ESA Atlas.

Are there any other environmental atlases?

Saanich also maintains two additional atlases. These are schedules to bylaws.

The Streamside Development Permit Area (SDPA) Atlas 

  • This maps streams and riparian areas.
  • It identifies setbacks to protect streams.
  • Consult the SDPA Atlas

The Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) Atlas

  • This identifies terrestrial and marine areas we need to protect during development. 
  • Consult the EDPA Atlas

Where can I find more information?

View the handout from the public presentation [PDF - 1.8 MB].

Consultant reports under consideration

View an overall map [PDF - 1.5 MB] of Phase I and II.