Marine Reference Guide

Scroll down to explore our online interactive map. To ensure that you are seeing the most up-to-date version, clear your browser history. To discover the map’s many unique features, check out our tutorial video below! Additionally, if you would like a list of all the spatial data layers in the map see the link below. 

The Marine Reference Guide is a product of the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Marine Stewardship Initiative. The Marine Reference Guide map contains hundreds of data layers and documents that describe Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound’s aquatic ecology, biophysical environment, administrative boundaries, and human uses. By visualizing how different data layers overlap in aquatic spaces, this interactive decision-support tool can be used to reduce user conflict and maximize community and ecosystem benefits. Our goal is for this map to support marine spatial planning and education, and to increase the holistic awareness of Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound – from the mountain top to the seafloor.

2021: ESRI Canada awarded us ‘App of the Month’! Read more here.

2023: One of 15 winners for the 2023 ESRI Canada Map Calendar contest, shown in the month of December! Check it out here.

Featured guest on ESRI Canada’s podcast: Geographical Thinking. Check it out here.

Suggested citation: Átl’ḵa7tsem/ Howe Sound Marine Stewardship Initiative. 2022. Marine Reference Guide – Interactive Map. Available online:

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Disclaimer: While we strive to provide the best available information in this map, spatial and non-spatial data are inherently dynamic and some information in this map may be incorrect or outdated. The map’s data are updated on a semi-regular basis. If you see any errors or inconsistencies, we welcome your feedback at

Last updated: May 24, 2023

The map is a living document. If you identify any missing or inaccurate information, please complete the following form. Thank you for your support and feedback!

Other Projects

The Howe Sound/Átl’ka7tsem Marine Reference Guide map was designed to align with and build upon two other Marine Reference Guide projects happening on British Columbia’s southern coast:

West Coast Aquatic’s Marine Ecosystem Reference Guide contains hundreds of data layers for Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds. Click the button below for their online interactive map (completed in 2017).

The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Strait of Georgia Marine Reference Guide (SOG MRG)​ houses hundreds of data layers for the Strait of Georgia marine environment. Click the button below for their online interactive map (launched in 2022). 

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