The Great Bear Swim is an interesting project for us. Not so much underwater, but definitely on it, and surrounded by it. The event being, held mid July, sees three ocean swimmers attempt a 50km swim from Ocean Falls, to Bella Bella in British Columbia. Right through the heart of the incredible Great Bear Rainforest.
Ww were invited to document the occasion by Susan Simmons, lead swimmer, and hugely impressive athlete / fundraiser / advocate.
Who could say no? One of the most jaw dropping places in Canada, paired with the emotions and adventure of such an endurance, and a chance to see some of BC’s most impressive animals up close, and in the wild.
The Great Bear Rainforest will be familiar to some through the continued and impressive works of Pacific Wild, and Photographer Ian McAllister.
The Great Bear Rainforest is considered one of the most pristine wilderness environments in Canada. Over 400k of template rainforest stretching along the central and northern coast of British Columbia.
The area is known to be home for many of Canada iconic wild animal; hump back whales, orca’s, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions, and most notably, the spirit bear - a sub-species of black bear, but with all white fur.
In February 2016 the BC government announced an agreement to protect 85% of the old-growth forested area from industrial logging. However, a lot more can, and should be done to protect the area and it’s wild inhabitants.
Trophy hunting of bears is still common place in the Great Bear Rainforest - almost unbelievable this day in age, but unfortunetly North American’s like shooting animal and hanging them on their wall.
The area is also subjected to a lot of concern due to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, that would see crude oil tankers regularly passing through the channels of the area. The risk of even one oil filled accident would pose a significant risk to the area.
We’ll be joining the ocean swimmers for the duration of the event, and hopefully learning more about the area, the wildlife, the problems it faces, and what we can do to help.
We’ll then be turning it all into a SeaproofTV Minimentary, so stay tuned, they’ll be something nice to watch!
You can learn more about the bear trophy hunting here: http://pacificwild.org/initiatives/land/stop-the-trophy-hunt
For more on Pacific Wild, visit here: http://pacificwild.org/
For more on the Great Bear Swim, visit here: http://greatbearswim.com/