The islets of Race Rocks are located just off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Victoria, 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 are 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 3 sq km (1.2 sq mi) of 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 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. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Race Rocks and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.