Sensitive Habitat Stewardship
This program provides accurate and current information on the state of sensitive habitats in the Comox Valley eco-region in order to effect better protection and restoration efforts. For information on this project, contact us or view below (please note the fullscreen and download options on top of the embedded documents):
A History of Comox Valley Project Watershed’s Sensitive Habitat Stewardship Program from 1995-2010
Comox Valley Stream Signage Project
Some examples are:
- Storm Drain Monitoring (1996-2000): A citizen monitoring program testing storm drains in urban areas.
- Agricultural Program (1997-98): An educational and remedial action campaign aimed at preventing damage to sensitive riparian areas.
- Survey and Education of Businesses (1999): Awareness and remedial work regarding toxic chemical use and disposal. The project included the distribution of educational materials, public workshops, and advertising and promotion for "green" businesses.
- Biofiltration Wetland (1999): Construction of a wetland in a residential area to filter stormwater and septic wastes.
- Pump-out Facilities and Boater Education (1999-2000): In conjunction with community partners, boater pump-out facilities were constructed in Comox Harbour and Deep Bay. A boater education program and celebration of clean water was also a focus.
Included are the following elements:
~ Mapping and Inventory Field Work
Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping: Accurate watercourse, and wetland locations, salmon and trout presence and habitat conditions features of urban streams are mapped using standardized procedures called the SHIM methods. Project Watershed is a founding member of the Community Mapping Network, a group of like minded organizations working to create better opportunities for community stewardship of Sensitive Habitats.
Baynes Sound Foreshore Stewardship (2001-2002): Detailed maps and inventory in Baynes Sound area will provide information to increase protection of sensitive stream, wetland and foreshore habitats, through application of local government bylaws and landowners' voluntary stewardship commitments.
Urban Salmon Habitat Program Assessments: Fish habitats are assessed using standardized procedures and reports describing watershed problems and recommend remedial efforts. This work results in detailed biophysical descriptions of streams and wetlands that aid in land-use decision making and watershed planning.
~ Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Arcview Smart Maps: Mapping, inventory and assessment data is compiled, digitized and used to update and expand the Comox Valley Sensitive Habitat Atlas, first published in 1995 in conjunction with local, provincial and federal governments. It is estimated that 20-30% of all streams in the valley are not mapped. Of those that are mapped, many habitat records are of limited accuracy. This project provides current, accurate maps and data to decision-makers, citizens, government agencies and volunteer stewardship groups in a user-friendly format. See samples on the Maps and Reports page.
~ Community Partnerships
A network of community mapping and stewardship groups has been developed, along with a protocol for information exchange. The purpose of this activity is to increase public awareness of and involvement in watershed stewardship and to establish a process to recruit new stewards, and to organize their activities in meaningful ways. This fosters a locally coordinated effort that increases information exchange among partners and reduces conflicts and duplication.
~ Landholder Stewardship Projects
A follow-up to initial stream surveys that provides information about habitat and stewardship options to landowners. This project creates an appreciation of the significance of habitats on private land, and wherever possible, to establish voluntary stewardship agreements, in which the landowner agrees to protect, restore and/or monitor the habitats found on their property.
See Evaluation Report from the 1999-2000 inaugural project year.
See 2000-2001 year end Report
See brochures on Maps and Reports page.
~ Entrepreneurial Non-Profit Activities
Partnership projects that build on the training and practical experience that our staff have acquired in the area of watershed stewardship services. We use cost-recovery pricing where appropriate and follow a comprehensive plan to deliver services to the non-profit and private sector providing more stable employment for local watershed technicians.