Coffin Island, B.C.
Within the Strait of Georgia is home to Coffin Island. Just off shore from this tiny island and just below its nurturing waters is where the reefs are installed onto the sea floor. This deployment location is easy to find and is in one of the most beautiful areas of Canada. Reefs are placed in 20 meters of water which is the perfect depth for so many species of marine life.
The Shore fauna of Coffin Island, B.C
The island is composed of sandstone with its long axis in an east west direction and peculiarly enough it does not follow very closely the typical geological formation of the reefs in this district. The southern slope of the island is very gradual and its area exceeds that of the northern slope which is steeper though not nearly as precipitous as the typical local formation on the north side. The north side is badly broken up with large rocks whereas the southern slope is a comparatively level one with few large rocks. On both sides the rock formation gives way to a shelly bottom which recedes rapidly into deep water on the south side after a short area with laminar in growth. On the north side the shelly bottom gives way quickly to eel grass and the recedence to deep water is not so rapid as on the opposite side. On both sides of the island there is a relatively deep channel and then the bottom rises again about several hundred yards away from. the island – – to form two parallel reefs, both of which are barely covered at very low tides. The western tip of the island is formed of two rocky points with a shelly beach about twelve yards wide between. Both rocky points disappear into sand but later rise to form a reef at low tide, 1n the middle of the channel. This extreme western tip is separated from the rest of the island at high tide. Between is a heavy layer of coarse shell which contains little life. to the south this coarse shell gives way to fine shell and sand, forming the chief clam-bearing area of the island. The eastern tip is much broader than the western which is composed entirely of rock which slopes gradually into deep water. In suumer this slope is profusely covered with algae below the half-tide mark. The island borders on Stuart Channel where the set of the tide is northerly from Sansum Narrows to Dodd Narrows on a rising tide and southerly on a falling tide. Thus on the ebb tide the full force of the current strikes the long north side of the island. A strong current is set up in the shallow passage between the island and the mainland, so there is a fairly swift current brushing the western tip and consequently the eastern tip of the island, thus providing a good change of water. There is then a slower drift from west to east on the southern side of the island. The reverse is true on a flood tide.
– D.B. Quayle Biological Station, Nanaimo, B.C. December 1974
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