Squamish is one of the best places to live in British Columbia. For many of us, the reason why we love this place so much is our connection to the ocean and land around us – feeling both the peace and the power of nature in this beautiful landscape. But Squamish has very little direct, accessible and safe ocean access, despite sitting at the junction between the sea and the mountains…only about 260 metres, to be precise! 

The Squamish Spit is one of the safest and most accessible places for people to enjoy the ocean. It is world renowned for the flawless merging of wind, water, and land, and has become a global destination for wind- and kite surfers. We can’t forget to mention the other year-round activities we do there as well, like yoga, paddle boarding, kayaking, bird watching, and nature photography. 

The Spit is truly a favourite among locals and tourists to take in the incredible beauty of our home. 

Squamish residents came down to the Spit this past Saturday to enjoy the day on the water, and to celebrate all that the Spit has to offer. The event included a complementary BBQ, an array of family-friendly activities such as lawn games, a group colouring mural, and a sandcastle competition. In addition, attendees tried our trainer kites and paddle boards, and watched a windsports demonstration to close off the day.

Sadly, this may be the last community event before the Spit is planned to be decommissioned this Fall.

The Squamish Windsports Society created Realign Not Remove to bring awareness to how important this space is to our community, and to provide a solution that benefits everyone. By removing access to the Spit, we’re losing over half of our town’s ocean access, due to the closure of Newport Beach (Sp’akw’us Feather Park) to facilitate the Oceanside development construction. 

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What does that leave us with? Absolutely no safe public oceanfront access in Squamish over the next two years.

Don’t you think that it’s odd for our growing community, one of the most populous in Sea-to-Sky country, not to have access to the Sea?

Realignment to create a holistic oceanfront park will celebrate our connection to the ocean, to the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples that were here before us and will meet the needs of ongoing initiatives to help salmon restoration. 

We believe that windsports and the environment can co-exist. We just need local leadership to demonstrate the necessary commonsense to work with the Squamish Windsport Society to create a park, for windsports, for families, and for tourists, that will be here for generations. But we also need community support. 

We know that behind every problem lies a solution, and that’s why we are thankful for Squamish Forward and the group of community members behind it. 

Like Realign Not Remove, Squamish Forward is dedicated to exactly that – moving Squamish forward in a way that benefits us all. We don’t need to remove opportunities, we just need to realign ourselves to find a better way.

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The Author

  • Nikki Layton

    Nikki Layton is President of the Squamish Windsport Society. A passionate activist for the Realign Not Remove initiative, Nikki is concerned about how the removal of the Squamish Spit will impact tourism and local access to the ocean in our growing community. She believes that windsports and the environment can co-exist, and that there’s a solution that benefits generations to come in Squamish.

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