The Hakai Beach Institute lies on the northwest tip of Calvert Island, which is roughly midway in latitude between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the southern tip of Haida Gwaii. The western shore of Calvert Island is exposed to the open Pacific Ocean. The so-called Inside Passage (the shipping route to Alaska) lies between Calvert Island and the mainland.
Calvert Island is roughly the same size as Saltspring in the Gulf Islands, or Quadra in the Discovery Islands. (For those of you who need a better known reference, it is larger than Nantucket and smaller than Martha’s Vineyard.)
The exposed outer shore of Calvert Island has rocky, wind-ravaged headlands interspersed with white sand beaches similar to (but nicer than) the better known beaches near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Two such beaches — the West Beach and the North Beach — lie on the Hakai property.
Kwakshua Channel & Pruth Bay
A striking feature of Calvert Island is Kwakshua Channel, which cuts across the island from Fitz Hugh Sound in the east and terminates at Pruth Bay just a few hundred meters from the open Pacific Ocean. The land mass to the north of Kwakshua Channel is technically another island — Hecate Island — which appears to have been separated from Calvert Island by an ancient fault that was subsequently deepened and widened by successive glacial action.
Hakai Beach Institute Property
The ortho photo below shows the approximate scope of the Hakai Beach Institute property, which includes the shorelines of Kwakshua Channel, West Beach and North Beach.
Research Area for Changing Landscape
The red outline below shows the maximum extent of the region that will be analyzed as part of the Long Term Ecological Research program we call Changing Landscape.