British Columbia

Expeditions:British Columbia

Beautiful coastlines, incredible islands, and rich underwater ecosystems are all part of British Columbia’s diverse wilderness landscapes


Along the western edge of Canada lies the providence British Columbia (B.C.), a region of pristine wilderness and unparalleled natural beauty. From iconic bald eagles, grizzly bears, and caribou on land, to the abundant salmon runs, herring, and the ocean’s top predator in the sea, the orca, life thrives in this rich, diverse, region.

My team and I came to B.C., Canada in search for my favorite animal in the sea, the magnificent orca, also known as the ‘killer whale.’ Our counterparts in the sea – orcas are to the ocean what we are to the land. They have complex social structures, sophisticated languages, and exhibit intelligent and culturally unique behaviors.

During the filming of our two-hour special, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures – Call of the Killer Whale, we learned a great deal about the issues facing these animals, and ultimately, how everything is connected, including the health and safety of human populations too. In B.C., there are rising threats to the natural environment from toxic chemicals, harmful salmon fish farming, pressure for more oil exploration, extraction, and pipeline projects, and habitat fragmentation from increasing developments.

State of British Columbia

  • As British Columbia attracts more people each year to enjoy its natural beauty, it is important that development moves forward through sustainable practices and supports environmentally friendly ecotourism.
  • Pressure from oil exploration, extraction, and pipeline construction threaten the pristine and diverse ecosystems in British Columbia, as oil spills have devastating consequences.
  • Pollution has far-ranging consequences, not only for animals in British Columbia, like the orcas, but also for us – learn about Jean-Michel Cousteau’s work in Supporting the End to Harmful Toxic Flame Retardants.
  • Open-net salmon farms are harming natural salmon stocks and have biological and social ramifications across British Columbia and beyond – learn more about Salmon Farms Exposed.
The British Columbia Expedition Team
Videos from British Columbia

Learn more about our work in British Columbia

  • Watch our PBS documentary series Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures – Call of the Killer Whale.
  • Learn about our work to ban toxic flame retardants.
  • Unfortunately, in the past many Orcas have been captured from the British Columbia coast and sent to marine mammal parks and aquariums, learn more about Jean-Michel Cousteau’s involvement with banning Orcas in captivity.
  • Read more about how harmful salmon farming practices endanger local ecosystems – The Future of Sustainable Fish Farming.
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    © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society

    Quick Facts

    • British Columbia is home to three endangered orca populations and they are some of the most well studied orca populations on the planet.
    • In 2010, a new addition to the L-pod orca family arrived and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s family legacy was honored by the naming of the new baby Orca, “little” Cousteau!
    • British Columbia has over 1,000 parks and protected areas.

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