Islanders to celebrate the Salish Sea with paddle

Turning the Tide organizers Sasha Kvakic and Emily Rogers prepare for the annual Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea. Photo Credit: Victoria News

By Lauren Boothby, VICTORIA NEWS

After five days paddling the Salish Sea and breathing the ocean air, Emily Rogers is resolved to fight for what she loves.

In the early morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9, more than 80 people young and old will depart from Dolphin Dock in Swartz Bay on a five-day paddle across the Salish Sea in protest of increased tanker traffic, advocating for greater environmental protection of the waters and the wildlife it sustains.

Rogers is one of the event coordinators for the event called Turning the Tide now in its fourth year. She says paddling the ocean built a bond stronger than any connection she’s experienced in her life.

She hopes the experience of being on the water inspires other participants to advocate for protecting the ocean as well.

“When you’re sitting in the middle of our ocean, it’s impossible to not be awestruck by the beauty and the fragility of our amazing coast,” she said. “It feels very humbling. When you look around and you see the diversity of species that rely upon this body of water, the importance of protecting this place is magnified.”

The journey takes paddlers in their kayaks and canoes from Swartz Bay to Portland Island, Salt Spring Island, North Pender Island, Prevost Island and Moresby Island, for about 29 nautical miles (54 kilometres) in total. Participants stop at each to rest and participate in workshops such as ocean navigation and reading tides.

Jeremy Loveday, a Victoria city councillor and event organizer, sees the event as a way to connect with the community.

“The theme this year is building solidarity across the Salish Sea, so it’s to bring people together, to get that experience of being on the water, to break bread, make those connections and to leave with a stronger network of solidarity across the islands of people who are willing to stand up and fight to protect our coastline,” he said.

Loveday says the trip has been one of the most memorable experiences of his past three summers.

“The highlight for me is getting out on the water and, when you’re travelling in the kayak or a canoe, you’re right down at water level and experiencing it an a very intimate way. There’s no distractions its just you and like-minded people you’re travelling with.”

For more information, visit

Luke Wallace Live Recording & Performance on Salt Spring

Join Luke Wallace and the Turning the Tide community for this live recording and musical performance at Ruckle Park on Salt Spring Island on August 9, 2017

Luke Wallace Live Recording and Performance on Salt Spring
Thursday August 10 @ 7:00 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island

Join & Share the Event on Facebook

Come out and sing with Luke Wallace and the folks of Turning the Tide 2017! Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea.

We are going to record a song which will be apart of Luke Wallace’s next record. His next record will be a collection of songs recorded live in series of frontline communities featuring voices of those who are fighting to protect their homes.

Find out more about the record by watching this video:

Picnic Dinner & Discussion with Adam Olsen on Salt Spring Island

Join Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, and the Turning the Tide community for this picnic dinner and discussion on Salt Spring Island on August 10, 2017

Picnic Dinner & Discussion with Adam Olsen on Salt Spring Island
Thursday August 10 @ 5:30 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island

Join & Share the Event on Facebook

Bring a picnic meal and join this discussion with Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, taking place as part of the annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea. Adam will share his ideas and vision for the Salish Sea bioregion and Saanich North & the Islands, drawing from his role as an elected official and his background as a member of the WSANEC Nation.

Sponsored by Turning the Tide

Registration update for Turning the Tide 2017

Due to popular demand, Turning the Tide 2017 is now at capacity and registration is closed. For those who have signed up and completed registration, we look forward to seeing you on the water and islands in August. For others, we look forward to paddling with you in 2018! A waitlist is being maintained in case of last-minute cancellations. If you would like to be added to this list, please email us at

Stay tuned for actions and events over the next year as we build on-the-water and inter-islands solidarity for the Salish Sea!


Register for Turning the Tide 2017!


Join Turning the Tide 2017!

This year’s 4th Annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea promises to be another exciting and meaningful family-friendly journey, uniting people from across the Salish Sea in community and solidarity for people and the planet.

The Paddle will take place over five days and four nights, from August 9-13, 2017, beginning at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and proceeding to Salt Spring and Pender Islands. Camping and dinners have been arranged for paddlers on all islands, and are included in the participant fee of $95 per person over 15 years (subsidies available, please contact us, and consider donating an extra $20 with your fee to help fund a fellow paddler).

This year’s theme is “Solidarity Across the Salish Sea.” With the federal government’s recent approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project, and the election of one of the most regressive presidents in American history, our movements need to strengthen and grow. Now more than ever, we need to stand up and build a culture of resistance on both sides of the border.

You can learn more by reading the Turning the Tide 2017 Participant Package and then complete the Registration Form here.

Paddlers are responsible for arranging their own boats. If you have additional capacity in boats or would like to request a spot in a boat, please let us know and we will endeavour to help match you up. Discounted canoe and kayak rentals from several agencies are also available.

We look forward to paddling with you this summer as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea — and build our on-the-water and inter-islands community of solidarity for people and the planet!

Open the registration form in a separate webpage

Paddle renews call to protect Salish Sea

Participants in the annual Turning the Tide event, a five-day, 70-kilometre journey through the southern Gulf Islands as part of a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.
Participants in the annual Turning the TIde event, a five-day, 70-kilometre journey through the southern Gulf Islands as part of a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.

By Kendra Wong, Victoria News, July 21, 2016

Wading into the waters of the Salish Sea at Dolphin Dock at Swartz Bay was an emotional experience for Emily Rogers.

Usually, Rogers, along with hundreds of other Victoria residents, will take the B.C. Ferries to travel from one island to the next.

However, at 6:30 a.m. on a Friday morning three years ago, Rogers, along with roughly 80 other people, quietly glided their canoes, kayaks and sailboats into the waters next to the ferries to embark on a journey of the southern Gulf Islands to raise awareness of the Salish Sea and the importance of protecting the ecosystem.

She felt dwarfed sitting in her kayak next to the giant ferry, but quickly began to form an emotional and personal connection with the water she was bobbing in, in a way she’s never experienced before.

“It really changed the experience. Being down on the water that close and being able to touch the water and see the sea life underneath me gave me a newfound appreciation for the diversity of the ocean and how dynamic of an entity it is,” said Rogers.

The five-day paddle, known as Turning the Tide, started three years ago and is a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.

During the roughly 70-kilometre journey, which included exploring and camping at Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring islands, Rogers spent hours on coastal waters and encountered wildlife such as birds, otters, seals and other sea creatures. She gained an appreciation for the waters that many coastal communities rely on.

“It envelopes all your senses. Your hands are wet and somewhat sore from the salt that they’re bathing in. But you can reach down and feel the coolness of the ocean, you can look down and see the depth of the sea life. You can see the huge abundance and variety in the ecosystem that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to,” Rogers said of her first Turning the Tide experience.

“Your body is sore, you’re using your muscles for four days straight. But that’s what it takes to power one’s self through the ocean and I think it creates an intimate experience with the environment.”

This year’s paddle begins on Friday (today) and goes until Tuesday, July 26, beginning and ending at Dolphin Dock.

Victoria city councillor Ben Isitt has participated in the paddle with his family for the past three years and said the event helps build community on the water.

“We see a lot of threats to the Salish Sea and to the coast particularly relating to pipelines and tankers and the extraction of fossil fuels and even broader climate change impacts. For the communities that depend on the Salish Sea and for the marine ecosystem, it’s important to demonstrate our love for the coast and our commitment to protect it and that’s what Turning the Tide is all about,” said Isitt, who will be travelling in a canoe.

“It’s a paddle with a purpose.”

For more information visit


Registration for Turning the Tide 2016 is now FULL. Thanks to everyone who has signed up and see you on the water on Friday July 22! If you aren’t able to join us this year, see you in 2017 for the next Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea!



MEDIA RELEASE: People’s paddle returns to Salish Sea in summer 2016

ttt-2016March 1, 2016

SALISH SEA — A human-powered flotilla will return to the Southern Gulf Islands in the summer of 2016, spreading a message of hope and change for solutions beyond the carbon-based economy. “Turning the Tide: the People’s Paddle for the Salish Sea” will bring together up to one hundred kayakers, canoers, open-water swimmers and sailors in a 5-day, 4-night journey in July 2016.

The flotilla, which is celebrating its 3rd annual event, is open to the general public and intended to provide a family-friendly journey to raise awareness of social and ecological issues and build community among islanders in the Salish Sea.

“Turning the Tide is a unique opportunity to explore the Salish Sea while raising awareness of the risks of industrial development and alternatives we can pursue,” says Emily Rogers, a Victoria-area resident and member of the Turning the Tide organizing committee. “This paddle is a fun way to share knowledge and energy with people who love the Salish Sea.”

Turning the Tide 2016 will include stops on Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring Islands, with musical performances, educational workshops and outdoor recreational activities for paddlers and islanders.

“The Salish Sea bioregion is a tremendous resource: it is where we live, work and play,” says Sasha Kvakic, an outdoors enthusiast and Turning the Tide organizer. “I want my grandkids to have the chance to fish and hunt in a healthy coastal ecosystem. That’s why we need to build a broad based movement for the Salish Sea.”

Registration for Turning the Tide 2016 has opened at The early-bird fee of $70 ($80 after April 1st) includes camping and dinner on all-islands. Members of the public should be sufficiently comfortable and skilled in the watercraft of their choice to undertake this 70-kilometre journey through the coastal waters of the Salish Sea.


For further information, please contact:

Emily Rogers, Turning the Tide, 250-514-6211
Sasha Kvakic, Turning the Tide, 250-818-5565