Coast and Mountains


The Coast and Mountains ecoprovince is found all along the B.C. coast including Haida Gwaii and much of Vancouver Island. The territories of many First Nations are in this vast region, including Tlingít, Xaadas, Haida, Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Haisla, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Oweekeno, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah nulth, Ditidaht, Homalco, Klahoose, Sliammon, Comox, Qualicum, Se’shalt, Sne-Nay-Muxw, Squamish, Quwutsun’, and Sto:lo.

In this ecoprovince, the Pacific Ocean is warm for most of the year because it sits on the shallow continental shelf. Additionally, the North Pacific Current brings deep ocean water up along the coast, carrying with it fresh food and nutrients. The warm ocean temperature and the fresh current make an excellent habitat in which marine life can grow.

The ocean is also the reason why this ecoprovince gets so much rain: up to five metres a year in some parts! In the water cycle, moist air evaporates off the ocean and moves inland. When this air hits the mountains, it loses its water and rains onto the land below. This rain creates the temperate Great Bear Rainforest full of animals and plants that rely on the moisture to survive. There is a lot of decomposing plant material in these forests, so the soil is rich and full of thousands of types of insects, mushrooms and mosses.

The major cities are Queen Charlotte City, Port Hardy, Prince Rupert and Kitimat.

Many of the plants and animals in the Coast and Mountains ecoprovince are losing their habitat to logging in old-growth forests, especially on Vancouver Island and the south coast. However, in 2016, much of the Great Bear Rainforest was protected from large scale logging.

Explore plants and animals of the Coast and Mountains

Explore other Ecoprovinces in B.C.