About Our Salish Sea

Bob snorkeling in Salish Sea from underwater.

About Our Salish Sea

Our Salish Sea is a home for my movie encounters with the wild living of our Salish Sea – from humpbacks to sea stars.  With my kayak and face mask, I explore the corners of the Salish Sea.

My first trips were in Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound, the coastal inlet near Vancouver where I live, but over time my exploring has spread out through the Salish Sea. All these movies are also posted on my Bob Turner YouTube channel

My hope is that the beauty and wildness captured in these movies will inspire personal commitments of stewardship and community-building in others that honour the Salish Sea.

Why telling stories is important

The Salish Sea has lost much. First Nations peoples once knew a wild richness that is hard to conceive of today.

However, it is vital to see that much remains. This is where my hope lies. The Salish Sea has wild corners that continue to thrive.

And legions of folks around the Salish Sea, inspired by its beauty and abundance, are helping record, research, restore, and stand up for its wild spaces and wildlife.  Damage is being undone. Nature is resilient if given a chance.

Why ‘Our’ Salish Sea?

I use the words “Our Salish Sea” because the sea is a gift shared with all of us.

We and all the wild living are neighbours, and the Salish Sea, a single interconnected body of life, is our neighbourhood. And so we carry the responsibility of being good neighbours.

I am inspired by the First Nations sense of being in good relations with land, water, animal and plant – a kinship with other life, all of Nature, and to the Creator.

About me, Bob Turner

My vantage on the Salish Sea is from the mouth of the coastal inlet Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound northwest of Vancouver, in the ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw/Squamish Nation. For three decades, Nex̱wlélex̱wem/Bowen Island has been home for my wife Rosemary and myself.

Growing up, our Dad, our family cottage, and spring canoe trips in Algonquin Park Ontario taught us much about how to care for ourselves in wild places – and our need to be in those wild places.

By training, I am a field geologist, doing my PhD at Stanford University and working as a federal research scientist for 20 years. By instinct I am an educator and artist, and with the Geological Survey of Canada linked people to their home geological landscapes, including through the book Vancouver City on the Edge, and booklets GeoTour Sea to Sky, and GeoTour Vancouver.

In my adopted community of Nex̱wlélex̱wem/Bowen Island, I have taken on many roles: mayor, municipal councillor, and as a board member of the Bowen Island Conservancy, Bowen Island Nature Club and the team that brought to life the Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.

In 2014, I “retired” (“refired” describes it better) from the federal government and discovered my passion for making movies about my wild home waters and lands. With video camera, kayak, and snorkle, I have explored the marine life and wild geography of Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound and the nearby Salish Sea that I share here and on my YouTube Channel. 

My Partners

Often, I fashion my movies to help the efforts of local stewardship groups: Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative, Conservancy Hornby Island, Salmonids in the Classroom, Gambier Island Conservancy, Squamish River Watershed Society, and SeaChange Marine Conservation Society. Recently I have partnered with the Salish Sea Institute, and I look forward to our collaborations.

My brother Tim Turner is my partner on many trips. He instigated the movies that oppose logging ancient forests on Gambier Island, and the movie Orcas on the Hunt is his amazing story.  

Len Gilday, a retired movie director, has been an astonishingly generous and influential mentor for all my movies, always asking the important questions and pointing to better ways.

And my wife Rosemary Knight is my valued editor, with a quick sense of what works, and what does not.