Project Watershed’s art awareness & fundraising campaign to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary. Our 2018 campaign celebrates collaboration; a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to achieve shared goals. It takes collaboration to breach lagoons, install culverts and tear down walls. Martha Jablonski-Jones has provided us with an image of the next wall we aim to tear down in her artwork “Long Road to Comox”, we can only do this with your support.
Click to view: Events, Art Fundraiser, Estuary and Economy, Projects in the Works, Vision Document
A business who sponsors our work for $150 or more will also receive public recognition via a press release, placement of logo and link on our website and mention at appropriate events.
To make a contribution press the large green DONATE button below the artwork. Type in the name of the artwork that you would like to receive and whether you would like a poster, paper print or canvas print. Example: Estuary Greens Paper Print.
Long Road to Comox
Artist: Martha Jablonski-Jones
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Original Size: 24″x72″
Print Size: 6″x 18″~ $100,
on canvas TBD~ $1000
Martha studied Fine Arts at the University of Alberta in the late 60’s. Her main focus in art has been physical place and how we dwell in it. This interest led her from Alberta to Vancouver, where she spent time painting the urban scene: alleys, run-down buildings, massive hydro structures. I loved the character, texture, and emotional feel of old places, imprinted by human occupation.
Upon moving to Courtenay six years ago, the first thing I noticed was the walk along the estuary. I didn’t know its history, but I was intrigued by its dilapidated industrial look, and the interface of nature versus structure. Visually, it was interesting, but I always wondered how something so unlovely could occupy the heart of the city. Find out more www.marthajonesart.com
Once you have input your donation please type in the name of the artwork you would like to receive and whether it is a poster, paper print or canvas print. If you do not wish to have any art just type “No art”.
Protecting the estuary not only makes sense environmentally but also economically. Bev Byerley’s painting speaks to the quality of life we enjoy in the Comox Valley. Economists use property values among others to capture this value financially. The Estuary Working Group has produced a vision document and is working on a K’omoks Estuary Management Plan (KEMP) under the lead of the the Regional District and K’omoks First Nation to help sustain that quality of life and uphold those economic values. We hope to have this plan adopted by all federal, provincial and municipal governments.
“Before there was pavement and the official designation as a walk path, my husband and I have been walking around the Estuary almost every morning since moving to Courtenay. Inspired by the views, I did my first Airpark painting almost 20 years ago, now I am nearing my one hundredth and still just as inspired and grateful to live in such a beautiful place!” Bev Byerley
The K’omoks Estuary has been providing the Comox Valley with economic prosperity for thousands of years. Jennifer Weber’s painting speaks to the mingling fresh and salt waters of the estuary as well the diverse range of habitats necessary to support the abundance of fish and shellfish that provide food, livelihood, and sport fishing to region. In BC seafood commodities bring in over $1.4 billion and sport fishing generates over $288 million. Tyee salmon, once abundant here, are now seldom found in the area as habitat has been lost or damaged. Restoration projects aim to reverse this trend of habitat loss thus increasing the productivity and economic prosperity of our region. More valuing our oceans facts and figures below!
“Having driven the dyke road many times, I had already come to appreciate the beauty of the Estuary however I didn’t know what an estuary was. Getting a definition was a natural first step in proceeding with my submission and helped me to understand the greater importance of its survival. ‘Mingling Waters’ allowed me to immerse myself in the thought that 80% of all coastal species depend on the healthy state of our estuaries…absolutely astounding.” Jennifer Weber
The following are facts from reports done for the Province of BC on the contribution our ocean makes to our economy. There are arranged by year and include links to the full reports on the Province of BC website.
- British Columbia offered 476 distinct fish and seafood commodities with a combined wholesale value of $1.4 billion.
- Salmon products generated 53% of the total wholesale value of all B.C. seafood.
- Sport Fishing – A major tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign tourism markets – the sector supports about 7,700 jobs. Sport fishing generates $288 million a year in GDP.
- Capture fishing – The landed value from all species was 330 million. They constitute the fourth largest primary industry in British Columbia after forestry, mining and agriculture.
- Seafood – Products were exported to more than 74 countries and generated a total export value of $957 million.
- Aquaculture – produced 90,600 tonnes of fish and shellfish and generated $533.8 million in farmgate value.
- Total = $2.1 billion
- From the analysis, it appears that the ocean economy is much larger than previously thought – with total output almost double an earlier estimate. As well, the ocean sector is broader and more diversified than indicated by previous findings.
- We also know little of the non-market values of our ocean – for example, cultural and spiritual benefits and the ocean’s value as a carbon sink.
- The total direct, indirect supplier plus induced consumer spending economic impacts of the ocean sector in 2005 were:
- $11.1 billion in GDP
- $7.6 billion in Labour Income i.e., wages & benefits
- 167,800 person-years of employment
From the past and into the future the K’ómoks Estuary supports the economy of the Comox Valley. Rena Roger’s photograph captures a moment for us to reflect on this. Archeological work suggests a substantial First Nation community existed on the shores of the Estuary for over 1400 years. This community relied on the productivity from the land around the Estuary as well as the water as natural estuarine dynamics creates rich farmland. This farmland is still used today and remnant First Nation stakes bespeckle the mudflats supporting agriculture, agri-tourism and potentially archaeo-tourism. Project Watershed is committed to develop a bid for National Historic Status and the protection, education and tourism that could accompany this.
“I moved to the Comox Valley with my husband and children in 1994 and have been capturing the unique and awe inspiring natural wonders of the Comox Valley ever since. The Estuary is one such place and it has been the subject of many of my pieces.” Rena Rogers
The K’ómoks Estuary offers economic possibilities that are just being discovered. In this respect Shirley Dickie’s painting is not only captivating but timely. Marine plants sequester carbon at rates higher than forests. In our Estuary these plants are eelgrass and those associated with salt marshes. Project Watershed is working with local, national and international groups to re-establish these plants and to capitalize on their carbon sequestration. This is a triple win as it increases habitat, provides shoreline resilience and removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Locally our governments spend thousands on carbon taxes; carbon credits in contrast would be an income source. The World Bank estimated the size of the global carbon credit market to be 64 billion in 2007.
“For the “Blue Forest” painting I had to do some research on estuary systems and how they are preserved and restored. I found that eelgrass and kelp bed restoration play an important part in this sensitive ecosystem. Their “ecosystem service” role in providing habitat, shoreline protection and nutrition to hundreds of species is extremely important. Also during my research I found the scenes of underwater kelp beds extraordinarily beautiful. I was inspired by nature’s design and interpreted the images of floating kelp as emotional gestures of hope, flow and growth” Shirley Dickie
The K’ómoks Estuary provides food and space for large populations of resident and migratory waterfowl and waterbirds. The Comox Valley has been known to attract exotic birds like the Citrine Wagtail and Red-flanked Bluetail drawing birders from far and wide to visit the region. Birders also flock to this area to glimpse rare birds like Peregrine Falcons, or to marvel at the large population of Trumpeter Swans which overwinter in the Comox Valley.
The waters of the K’ómoks Estuary also provide a playground for tourists and residents. A variety of recreational activities such as kayaking, canoeing, boating, stand up paddle boarding, kite boarding, swimming, and scuba diving are enjoyed in the estuary.
The K’ómoks Estuary provides our community with a resource of educational materials and trips so that students from Kindergarden to Post Secondary can gain first hand experience exploring ecology, history, geology, geography etc..
Projects In the Works
Ongoing – Project Watershed is doing blue carbon work planting eelgrass and salt marsh to increase habitat, provide shoreline protection and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We are also carrying out work with international funders and partners to investigate how blue carbon works. Click here for more information.
With help from our funders and partners we have breached the upper area of the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon to provide fresh water flow and improve the habitat within the lagoon.
We have created an online interactive map housing ecological, historical and recreational information for residents, tourists, environmentalists, recreationalists, real estate agents, students and more. Check it out!
We acknowledge the financial assistance from the Province of British Columbia.
Phase 1 completed. The old culvert was removed and replaced with a larger, more “fish friendly” one installed at a lower elevation. The inner pond was re-contoured and deepened in a couple of areas. Another culvert was installed on the opposite side of the pond to connect the pond to the Courtenay Slough, which connects back to the Courtenay River.
More work is to be done replanting the area over the coming year.
Project Watershedand the K’ómoks First Nation have reached an agreement with Interfor to purchase and restore the former Field sawmill site on the Courtenay River near the 17th street bridge. We are now aiming to raise $100,000 for the community by December 20th, 2017.
Information to follow.
Project Watershed has been conducting the Keeping It Living Campaign to raise awareness and funds for the protection and restoration of the K’omoks Estuary since 2009.
Art submitted to Keeping It Living
Artists from the 2009/2010 Campaign
- Andy MacDougall-Neil Havers
- Arlene McLeod
- Bev Byerley
- Brian Buckrell
- Claude Dalley
- Corre Alice
- Danielle Bolideau
- Daryl Dancer-Wade
- Douglas Walker
- Ed Brooks
- Gretchen Markle
- Helen Utsal
- Jennifer Weber
- Judith Bergeron
- Ken Kirkby
- Kira Neumann
- Lucy Shappy
- Marilyn Timms
- Mary Reed
- N Kearney
- Nancy Morrison
- Ruby Hettervig
- Shirley Dickie
- Tracy Kobus