Rivers and Estuary

3.14.4 Estuary

The Squamish estuary, located at the head of Howe Sound in Squamish, BC, is where the Squamish and Stawamus Rivers meet the sea.Together with its major tributaries, the Squamish River drains 3589 square kilometers of coastal rainforest, and the Stawamus River drains 62 square kilometers. The estuary is a highly productive ecosystem, providing important natural habitat areas and significant winter migratory bird habitat. The estuary also offers important economic development opportunities.

1999 Squamish Estuary Management Plan, which references an area 935 hectares in size, describes a land exchange between the Province, BC Rail and the Squamish Nation, and a management agreement between the Ministry of Environment and Squamish Nation, which has led to the designation of the Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

The WMA is a 673 hectare area. The Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Plan sets objectives and management strategies for maintaining and restoring fish, wildlife and their supporting habitat in the WMA. The designation of the WMA is a result of 25 years of planning under the Squamish Estuary Management Committee.

View the 2007 Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Plan

View the 1999 Squamish Estuary Management Plan


The Squamish Rivers & Estuary Teachers Guide is intended to provide grade K-7 teachers and educators with activities and resources to educate students about water, watersheds, and some of the natural resources of the Squamish River watershed. It is hoped you will find activities and resources you can easily carry out with your students.

The resources are available as PDF downloads:


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