Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

On June 11th the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society Board of Directors met and elections were held for Board positions. The 2013 Board members with their specific roles on the Project Watershed team are:

  • Paul Horgen – re-elected Chairman of the Board.  Paul has been associated with the Board for 5 years and along with Board Member Dan Bowen makes up the Research –Technical Working Group.  Horgen is a retired Biology Professor from the University of Toronto.  His research was in Microbial genetics and environmental microbiology. He has published over 140 scientific articles and has co-authored 3 books.   He moved to the Comox Valley in 2005, and has served as science coordinator for Elder College. He is also a member of the Vancouver Island CNIB Board of Directors and a member of the CNIB National Research Board.  Horgen also serves on the Area B Lazo North Area Planning Commission.  Horgen is coordinating the team for the Blue Carbon Project in the Estuary.

  • Bill Heidrick – elected Vice-Chair and also coordinates the society’s outreach efforts.  Bill retired after 25 years working in the Forest Industry.  He moved on to serve 8 years in local government, including 4 years as a director of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. He was a volunteer warden for the Zeballos River Estuary for many years and instrumental in forming the Zeballos Fish and Wildlife Association.  He participated in CoastalWaterbird Survey (Zeballos River Estuary) for 7 years and continues to be involved in bird counts here in the Valley.  Bill’s outreach efforts involve the establishment of a new stream keeper group and the Shoreline cleanup.  Bill also serves on the Estuary Working Group and represents Project Watershed on the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy Steering Committee.

  • Don Castleden – Chair of the Society’s largest committee, the Estuary Working Group.  Don has been on the Board of Project Watershed since 2000 and is past Chair of the Board.  Don became involved in environmental education in the mid 90’s when he was asked to develop a national First Nations training program in Environmental Impact Assessment after he had previously developed an award winning program for First Nation managers in Community, Economic and Organization.  He  proposed the ‘Heart of the Watershed’ Symposium on the Estuary in 2008, which proved to be a catalyst that has engaged individuals, organizations and local political leaders in a community wide effort to protect and restore this outstanding feature of the Comox Valley.

  • Dan Bowen – born and raised in the Comox Valley, Dan has a passion for protecting the Valley’s flora and fauna from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the mountains.  Dan worked for the Ministry of Transportation as an engineering assistant, overseeing numerous road construction projects on Vancouver Island.  In 2010, Dan started applying his expertise to the aquaculture industry, specifically sustainable hatchery and tenure development and operations.  In 2011, Dan became a director on the board of Project Watershed.  He, along with Paul Horgen, coordinates the Research and Technical Activities of the Society, with Bowen coordinating and managing the Puntledge projects and both coordinating the Estuary and Blue Carbon projects.  Dan also serves on the Estuary Working Group.

  • Brian Storey – elected Treasurer and is the newest member of the Board of Directors.  Brian is a Chartered Accountant.  He was the Business Manager of The Edmonton Journal for 25 years before he became a self-employed professional accountant in 1996.  From 1996 to 2009, he provided business advice and assistance to a number of enterprises – public, private and not-for-profit.  Since coming to the Comox Valley, Brian has been, and still is, involved with the Rotary Club of Courtenay, and the Comox Valley Elder College.

Assisting the Board are key staff:

    • Caila Holbrook – Estuary Coordinator and Mapping Coordinator. Caila has been with Project Watershed since November 2008. She has a Masters in International Nature Conservation and a BSc in Environmental Science. She has been involved in environmental research, restoration and protection projects all over the world.

    • Kathryn Clouston – Administration and Outreach Coordinator.  Kathryn has been volunteering with stream keeping groups since her retirement from the Air Force in 2007.  While doing this she also spent a few years at North Island College improving her knowledge of biological systems with an Associate of Science in Biology degree.

Caila Holbrook and Kathryn Claustin in recent eelgrass planting in the estuary.

Caila Holbrook and Kathryn Claustin in recent eelgrass planting in the estuary.

The society welcomes new individuals with interest in environmental stewardship and public education and outreach.  Interested parties can contact Paul Horgen at or visit Project Watershed’s website at for more information.

Layne and Brenda of 40 KNOTS with Caitlin Pierzchalski ~ L.Stewart