Article published in the Rural Observer by Amanda Swinimer & Christine Hopkins

Did you know that right here in the Pacific Northwest, we have among the richest diversity of seaweeds on the planet?  With over 650 species, some still waiting to be discovered and at least one species having been named by Bamfield’s own kelp expert, Dr. Louis Druehl, Ph.D., our foreshore invokes a jaw-dropping sense of awe to some of the world’s leading phycologists.

Aside from the absolutely astonishing health benefits of seaweeds, such as their hyper-abundance of rare & essential minerals in bioavailable forms, their richness in most vitamins, their effectiveness in treating many chronic and acute illnesses and their promising preliminary results in the treatment and prevention of certain types of cancer, they are ecologically critical.  Most of the world’s oxygen is produced by algae, and most of the world’s carbon is fixed by algae.  Algae is the primary source that feeds the world’s oceans that cover two thirds of our planet.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, countless species of invertebrates and vertebrates use the seaweed gardens as a nursery. The Kelp Forests are an oasis for a huge diversity of marine species and are among the most diverse ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean.

If you rely in any way on the ocean as part of your livelihood and lifestyle, then the health of seaweeds is even more significant to you.

With the government making decisions about whether to allow huge fleets  of supertankers to transport oil from the proposed pipeline in Kitimat and also into terminals in Vancouver, we are deeply concerned.  An oil spill on our west coast would smother the seaweeds and the micro-algae, making it impossible for them to photosynthesize and thus leading to mass die-offs of our ocean’s primary source.  Every level of the food chain would be affected, either directly or indirectly, by an oil spill.The seaweeds, the prawns, the crabs, the bivalves & univalves, the fish, the orcas and yes…our beloved salmon. Furthermore, the effects of an oil spill ‘clean-up’ could be almost equally catastrophic.  Sometimes harsh chemicals unsafe for consumption are used as well as a new technique that disperses the oil into small particles that then cannot be collectively cleaned up and could continue to suffocate the single-celled algae that are responsible for producing most of the world’s oxygen supply (the very air we breathe), for unseen years to come.

 With consistent, heavy tanker traffic in our dangerous, stormy,  wild Northern waters,  a significant oil spill is statistically an inevitability.  As we have witnessed in the past, an oil spill in the ocean is devastating to any marine ecosystem. I believe a marine ecosystem as rich and diverse and abundant as ours deserves the utmost care and collective contemplation of the practices that we, as the people who live, work and play here, allow in our delicate and near-pristine ocean ecosystem.   If a major oil spill happens on our coast, not only will our seaweeds disappear,  but so  will the species dependent upon it for food and shelter.  So too, I fear, will the health & lifestyle of the west-coaster.

Written by: Amanda Swinimer, BSc+ Marine Biology, Owner /operator of Dakini Tidal Wilds

Amanda wild-harvests local edible seaweeds and teaches people about seaweeds via educational tours, workshops and at schools


Christine Hopkins, registered aromatherapist, thallassotherapist

Christine sells seaweed for therapeutic use in baths and for skin absorption, and teaches people about the amazing healing properties of seaweeds.

Learn more about seaweeds by visiting

Amanda & Christine will be teaching classes on seaweeds at Royal Roads University in winter/spring 2015.

Dakini Tidal Wilds~Upcoming Events

Hello Seaweed Enthusiasts, Some exciting events coming up this season.

JUNE 15th 10am-4pm Seaweed Workshop

This will be one of our best low tides of the season


  • Identifying local seaweeds at low tide
  • Sustainable wild harvest techniques
  • Delicious wild seaweed lunch
  • Healing & nutritional properties of seaweeds
  • Seaweeds and chronic illnesses
  • Thalassotherapy

Cost $90.00 (includes lunch)

$30.00 deposit required by June 10th

Dr. Prannie Rhatigan from Ireland!!!

This has been years in the making, but she is coming!  She is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author and is not to be missed. 

On July 11th from 6:30 to 9:30 Prannie will be presenting a lecture at the Shirley Hall, 20km west of Sooke.

On July 12th, there will be a full day workshop, an intimate experience with Dr. Prannie Rhatigan for up to 17 lucky people.  The workshop is taking place at the Ocean Wilderness Inn located 12 km west of Sooke. 

Visit to learn more about Dr. Prannie Rhatigan.

To register for any of these events, contact Lori at or phone 250.646.2116.

For details on any events, visit or e-mail me at or call me at 250.818.4633.


Contact Christine Hopkins email: Ph. 250.646.2425

Hope to see you at the beach!!

Dr. Prannie Rhatigan

Christine Hopkins and I (Amanda Swinimer) are VERY excited & pleased to announce that Dr. Prannie Rhatigan will be visiting our island, all the way from IRELAND!  A world renowned speaker, scholar and 'hands on'  seaweed enthusiast, Dr. Rhatigan is also the author of 'The Irish Seaweed Kitchen'.

Dr. Prannie Rattigen will be presenting in a large venue the evening of July 11th
AND offering an intimate 'hands on' workshop for up to 20 lucky people on July 12th, one of our best low tides of the season!

If you LOVE seaweed, and/or are intrigued by seaweeds, this is truly a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity!

Venue details and times to follow.

Contact Amanda Swinimer:  (250) 818-4633
Christine Hopkins:  (250) 646-2425 for more details or to register.


Our first Seaweed Workshop is scheduled for Sunday June 15, 2014.  We have an amazing low tide on this day and the seaweeds will be in the best part of their season!  For info on workshops, visit
To register contact:
Amanda Swinimer
Ph. 250 818-4633
Christine Hopkins
Ph. 250 646-2425


The first low-tide seaweed workshop of 2013 is now scheduled.  It is happenning on the beautiful spring low-tide of Mother's Day, Sunday May 12 from 10am - 4pm.  In honour of the holiday, we will offer $5.00 for any 2 women coming together.  Cost is $90.00.  For more info and photos, visit
To register contact Amanda @ (250) 818-4633
or Christine Hopkins at (250) 646-2425

DTW's at SOOKE SEEDY SATURDAY FEB. 23 at the Sooke Community Hall

Seedy Saturday
Sooke Community Hall

2037 Shields Rd (opposite the Legion on Eustace Rd)
Saturday, February 23
10 am – 3 pm


  • Seed Vendors
  • Seed Exchange (bring seeds and envelopes)
  • Wild Harvesters & Food Artisans
  • Veggie Starts & Nurseries
  • Sunriver Allotment Garden
  • Groups & Educational Displays(Sooke Children’s Garden Club, Compost Education Centre, Transition Town, and many more)
  • Amazing door prizes and raffle
  • Admission is by donation ($5 suggested)

Need more information, want to register for a table, or volunteer?
Contact Jessica Boquist at 250-642-0503
email or


Dakini Tidal Wilds in Chinatown for Take it Taller

Hey seaweed enthusiasts!  I will be in Chinatown, Victoria on Sunday December 16 from 11am to 6pm with the 'Soap (&Secret) Pop-Up Shop'   I will have my seaweed available in bulk at special prices not available in any stores.  At 2pm I will be presenting a 'by donation' seaweed talk with all proceeds going to Take it Taller ( The workshop is called 'Seaweed as Healer...A Local Treasure' Hope to see you there!!!


Our final seaweed workshop of the season is happenning July 21st.  Join us as we explore the intertidal seaweeds at low tide, enjoy a delicious lunch filled with wild seaweeds, experience the seaweeds in a mini spa session and learn about the phenominal healing potential of seaweeds and get to know our 'locals'.

To register, contact Christine Hopkins at or 250.646.2425 or Amanda Swinimer at or 250.646.2433Our final seaweed workshop of the season is happenning July 21st.  Join us as we explore the intertidal seaweeds at low tide, enjoy a delicious lunch filled with wild seaweeds, experience the seaweeds in a mini spa session and learn about the phenominal healing potential of seaweeds and get to know our 'locals'.

To register, contact Christine Hopkins at or 250.646.2425 or Amanda Swinimer at or 250.646.2433

Preserving the health&wealth of the Pacific Northwest

The Juan de Fuca Forest lands, 130,000 hectares of temperate rainforest at Victoria's doorstep. This forest is important for bio-diversity, climate change, recreation and local jobs. However, two major threats exist: urbanization and intensive unsustainable logging. We need to keep these forests as forests --no urbanization, protect old growth and only allow sustainable logging.

May 6th Workshop Info

May 6th Workshop

Please meet at Ocean Wilderness Inn at 10am.  

The workshop will run from 10am-4pm.  

Please wear either hiking boots you do not mind getting wet OR Gum Boots with good treads OR wet suit booties.  

Even if it is a warm day, cold winds often blow in from the ocean so bring layers you can add or remove according to the weather.

A wild seaweed lunch is included in the workshop!

Bring paper and pen for note-taking.

Cameras are welcome but others in the group must be asked if they are okay with their picture being taken.

Seaweed products available for purchase after the workshop.

Bring your enthusiasm!!

The Ocean Wilderness Inn B&B is located 12 km west of Sooke.  It is the second driveway on the left after the Muir Creek bridge...there is a whale on the sign!

See you soon!!!!

Sea Veggies by Rebecca Baugniet, Eat Magazine

Dakini Tidal Wilds is featured in Eat Magazine along with Westcoast Seaweed andOuter Coast Seaweeds in the March/April 2012 issue.

"Drying Seaweed [Amanda Swinimer] explains, is an art form."

"Swinimer, Carey and Bernard all encourage wild harvesting of seaweed, but each one stresses that some knowledge of algae physiology is crucial to sustainable harvesting. In addition, you want to be sure you are harvesting from uncontaminated water. Both Outer Coast Seaweeds and Dakini Tidal Wilds offer educational tours and seminars."

Read the full article here or at

Spring and Summer Low Tide Workshop dates are booked!!!!

Join Amanda Swinimer (BSc+, Folk Herbalist~~~ and Christine Hopkins (registered Aromatherapist~~~ for a full day of exploration into our local seaweeds here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our dates for the 2012 season are:
May 6th
June 2rd
July 21st

Please visit to learn more about our low tide workshops and to view fun and beautiful photos from previous workshops.

Ocean blessings~~~Amanda