Published On: Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Toquaht Nation Receives $400K Investment In New Secret Beach Marina
COURTENAY – The Toquaht Nation is set to begin construction of a new $1.35M marina development at Secret Beach and the Island Coastal Economic Trust is supporting the project with a $400,000 investment.
The project includes the construction of 40-slip marina, construction of a new double-wide boat launching ramp, a new marina access road, parking facilities, and breakwater at Secret Beach.
The Marina is the first phase of a broader plan that will transform Secret Beach into a regional tourism hub.
Future developments will include the construction of a common building with café, gift shop and meeting rooms, rental cabins, kayak comfort station and other infrastructure to support cultural tourism.
In conjunction with the future replacement of the marina at Toquaht Bay, there will ultimately be slips for 80 boats in the two nearby locations, with access to campgrounds and other services for the growing number of visitors to the region.
“The Toquaht Nation has been proactive and innovative in building new economic opportunities, and when environmental concerns forced a change in their plans to redevelop the Toquaht Bay campground and marina, the Nation identified a new opportunity at Secret Beach,” explained ICET Chair Phil Kent.
“This project will attract visiting boaters to the islands and coastline of this rugged area creating new opportunities for eco-tourism, cultural tourism and hospitality business development.”
The region is a key access point for visitors to explore the Broken Group of islands between Bamfield and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The Secret Beach Marina will provide safe harbour for those arriving by water and a safe access route for those arriving by land.
“My father – Chief Bert Mack – spent decades fishing in Barkley Sound, and I know he would be proud to see this new marina at Secret Beach,” said the Toquaht Nation’s Chief Anne Mack.
“Our economic development mission is to create businesses that respect the history, culture, and traditions of the Toquaht Nation, and this project embodies that mission exactly.”
The Broken Group is a prime destination, particularly for the growing kayak tourism market. The islands, which number more than 100 uninhabited islands, is often described as ‘dream destination’ for paddlers.
The routes are part of the new BC Marine Trails network - another project which has benefitted from ICET investment.
The project is expected to create approximately 3.0 person-years of new construction phase jobs as well as 15 permanent local jobs within a 3-5 year term.