Since January 25, 1977, the Wreck Beach Preservation Society (WBPS), has lobbied, negotiated and fought openly and behind the scenes to "preserve the Wreck Beach cliffs, foreshore, and surrounding area in as nearly a natural state as possible." We define "Wreck Beach" as stretching from the Musqueam Reserve to the Acadia end of the foreshore, beaches and cliffs. To this end, we have had to be ever-vigilant in order to counter proposals which authorities have tried to inflict on an unsuspecting public. Before the GVRD takeover of Wreck Beach in 1989, beach users were living with a jurisdictional nightmare. This was so because various agencies and levels of government passed the proverbial "buck" whenever the public tried to target responsibilities of specific authority bodies. As necessary, you can catch updates in this section as beach issues develop. You may also call Judy Williams at (604)-856-9598 for details.

Issues facing us :


This proposed bill currently equates mere nudity with pornography and would penalize all naturist publications. In addition, it would also penalize typical family photos of children in the nude engaged in typical activities of children around the world.  Artists and writers would suffer from the "chill effect," and while we totally support their position, the FCN had to concentrate on the threat to our nude freedoms under this bill.  The day of our presentation, we were joined at table by the Canadian Conference of Artists , the Canadian Writers' Union, and an individual supporting raising of the minimum age of consent in Canada from 14 to 16. Judy Williams, Wreck Beach Preservation Society Chair, as the Federation of Canadian Naturist's Government Affairs Officer, presented the Federation's   position to Parliamentarians:

Verbatim transcript of Judy Williams' and Stephen Deshénes' appearance at the Justice Committee in now online.

We are including both Judy's verbal presentation which had to be limited to 10 minutes, and the final written version which had to be in to Ottawa two weeks prior to (Easter Sunday) Judy's presentation on April 7.


January 8, 2004, the Wreck Beach Preservation Society discovered UBC's plans to build four, 20-storey student residence towers, the Marine Residences, within the 6900 block beside Marine Drive. Originally UBC Properties Trust had planned on 20 stories plus a five-metre high elevator penthouse shaft that would have made Tower # 1 almost 60 metres high. However, they kept that fact under wraps until the WBPS revealed it January 2005. The Official Community Plan (OCP) limit for building heights on campus is 53 m., so UBC is now merely in compliance as it should have been from the beginning, technically speaking.

Capped in April 2005 at 18 stories, Tower #1, the first of the four towers, has destroyed forever the heritage viewscape from the tidal flats in the Trail 6 and estuarine areas of Wreck Beach. Concerned citizens must band together to lower the heights of the three remaining towers to preserve what remains of the panoramic view from the Trail 6 beach and tidal flats.  These towers must not exceed the canopy height. While our progress may not be obvious, our Society and those working closely with us, have forced OCP compliance and have perhaps succeeded in having the three remaining towers moved back along Lower Mall rather than having them stay in the original perpendicular-to-Marine Drive configuration.

Thank you to all persons who have donated money, signed petitions, written letters and attended meetings. We need you to continue to donate and attend meetings as we enter the very serious Phase II of this horrendous development. May 25, 2005, 5-7 p.m. (location to be announced but will be announced on the GVRD Joint GVRD-UBC agenda information page on the GVRD website), is the next-scheduled meeting where UBC is slated to unveil its plans for involving the public in the Phase II, three-tower planning stage. Your bodies will count and we need you to attend any public meeting (s) called. We are distributing e-mail “tree” sheets in order for us to more quickly notify you of meeting dates and location changes because we do not often have more than a few days warning when these changes occur.

You may also e-mail us your contact information at: .

Wreck Beach itself stretches from Booming Ground Creek to the Acadia sections of the beach for a distance of 7.8 km. 

Background information is also listed on the main page to help you understand the basic three areas of concern:  Cliff stability, stormwater management, and preservation of the viewscape from the beach to the tops of the cliffs.

For a more complete detailing of the history of the Towers Battle, please read James Loewen's “One Year History of the Towers” on our Main Page.


The impact on Wreck Beach by the development of an 18,000 +-person South UBC Campus “Village in the Forest” community is of great concern to be users. The public has demanded that GVRD and UBC allow more public  input with regard to university neighbourhoods.  After a February 7, 2004 community workshop which examined better ways for neighbouring communities, including Wreck Beach, to have input into campus development, the South Campus Working Group (SCWG) was established. This group was to explore all aspects of development in the South Campus area under study.  A separate Consensus Group met to write up our concerns to ensure that they dovetailed with the intent of public input every Wednesday between March and June 2004. 

Unfortunately, the Area Planning Committee, which was given the power to override suggestions made by the more representative-of-the public South Campus Working Group, has made decisions to alter the SCWG recommendations.  The areas which have been most drastically altered include elimination of 90-year-old trees in the wooded lot at the SW corner of Wesbrook and 16 th , and the provision of a right of way for a possible later egress road at the NE corner of the Neighbourhood for South Campus.  The other huge issue is the control of the stormwater run-off over Pacific Spirit Regional Park cliffs from the South Campus.

The decision of how best to control the cleanliness and volume of stormwater which flows over the cliffs must NOT be left for UBC and the developers to determine! This, more than almost any single other aspect of the South Campus development must be open and transparent and subject to public input and scrutiny. The fate of Booming Ground Creek and whether or not UBC is allowed to run a spiral storm drain into the delicate estuary behind the main bathing beach at Trail 6 of Wreck Beach, is yet to be determined during 2005.

Wreck Beach itself stretches from Booming Ground Creek to the Acadia sections of the beach for a distance of 7.8 km. 

An earlier version of so-called stormwater control was formulated that would have seen a pipe and rip-rap replace Booming Ground Creek's (BGC) beautiful exposed geological beds and deep fern and lush vegetated banks and ravine.  Otto Langer, respected fish habitat specialist now with the Suzuki Foundation and formerly with Federal Fisheries produced a report extolling this precious resource as an urban fish-bearing stream. 

Otto was commissioned by the WBPS in May-April 2004 to evaluate the importance of BGC to the Fraser River fishery.  It was his conclusion that this precious urban stream must be protected at all costs.  UBC, as an alternate, has also proposed that GVRD allow them to sink a directional pipe (the spiral storm drain) through perched aquifer topography on parkland so that they may direct stormwaters into the estuary where salmonid and humans need clean water for health. 

To allow UBC and the South Campus developers to dictate how they will handle stormwater drainage is tantamount to letting the fox protect the henhouse.

GVRD has a policy that they do not allow adjacent development to direct stormwater onto parkland, and UBC will have to devise innovative ways to cope with that policy which involves public input, before, not after the fact! 



The impact on Wreck Beach by the possible construction of an "upscale" restaurant at the Fraser Parking Lot location. Such a restaurant would overlook the beach and could change the Attorney General's interpretation of the Canadian Criminal Code with regard to nudity at Wreck Beach. Also, such a restaurant would interfere with wildlife, vegetation, and the natural ambience of the area. No one enjoying sunset and afterglow from the beach wants to look up on the cliffs to have the glare of restaurant lights detract from Wreck's natural beauty. 

What GVRD should be exploring with the help of our Society is the location within the park or on the South Campus of a top-of-the line naturist resort to accommodate the literally hundreds of thousands of naturist tourists who visit Wreck Beach annually.  An upscale resort would generate enough revenue so that the GVRD would never have to worry about money or increased taxes to run its operations!  The WBPS has been advocating this to various GVRD authorities over the years.  Who knows?  Maybe one day they will see the ultimate wisdom of creating that amenity within its park system!

UBC is continually pressing the provincial Ministry of Highways and Transportation for the elimination of ALL FREE curb-side parking along Marine Drive. In addition, discussions have been held to possibly convert sections of Marine Drive into a pedestrian mall which would make access to the beach more complex and difficult for many persons, including seniors. Buses would not have been able to drop people off directly at the top of Trail 6.

The GVRD has proposed building flush toilets on the beach. Of concern, as well, because it could encourage campers, would be the piping of fresh drinking water to the beach.


The impact on policing and influence on the beach should the University Endowment Lands amalgamate with the City of Vancouver, should be of concern to beach users. The UBC Detachment of the RCMP has a history of getting to know beach regulars and working with them. Far better for us that the local Detachment has a better chance due to physical proximity to get to know beach regulars than the VPD would be able to do.


The long-term impact on the foreshore cliff-tops should GVRD ever allow UBC's Botanical Gardens to build canopy walkways in old growth trees on the cliff side of Old Marine Drive or anywhere near BGC, must be prevented from becoming more than a dull gleam in UBC's eye.


Proposed passenger ferries, marina or bridge between Richmond and Point Grey still remain of concern even though they are presently not on the proverbial plate. Somehow, similar proposals always seem to simmer below the surface.

(A) Destruction of habitat should Translink ever decide to run passenger ferries to UBC via anywhere along the Wreck Beach foreshore which stretches from BGC to Acadia (7.8 km).

(B) Destruction of habitat and water quality and undermining of cliff stability should the Port North Fraser or Department of Public Works ever decide to create a marina, super port or ferry terminus in the estuarine or Trail 6 area of Wreck Beach or elsewhere along the Wreck Beach foreshore.