Race Rocks Lighthouse, Strait of Juan de Fuca

Race Rocks Lighthouse, Strait of Juan de Fuca

by | Aug 9, 2020

The islets of Race Rocks are located just off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Victoria and 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Sooke, British Columbia.

Race Rocks are named for the fast-flowing tidal races that develop large waves and eddies. Because of the unusually strong currents, there is an exceptional variety of marine life, but this area is notoriously difficult and dangerous to navigate. The group of islets and reefs is an Ecological Reserve designated by the British Columbia Parks Ministry. The reserve is also a designated Marine Protected Area managed by the staff and students of Pearson College. The reserve covers an area of about 768 acres (311 ha) of the ocean, rocks, and reefs, but does not include the small envelope of land leased by the Canadian Coast Guard with the foghorn and the historic Race Rocks Lighthouse.

The light station was built between 1859–1860 by the crew of HMS Topaze and first illuminated on December 26, 1860. It is the only lighthouse on the British Columbia coast built of rock and painted with distinctive black and white bands. Read more here and here. Live webcams are available here. Explore more of Race Rocks and the Strait of Juan de Fuca here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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