Project Watershed is Battling Reed Canary Grass
Few species will eat it and it grows too thickly for animals or waterfowl to use it for cover or nesting. Foraging juvenile salmon have feeding opportunities reduced in areas dominated by this grass. It also out-competes trees and shrubs which provide important stream-side cover and keep water temperatures cooler. In particular, dense stands are starting to form in the Hollyhock Marsh conservation area, Dyke Slough and the lower reaches of Mallard Creek. In fact it is starting to constrict the creek impeding fish access.
As part of our work to control and manage this invasive grass we have been doing some test treatments. Specifically mowing, mowing/shading (with cardboard) and digging it out. We are currently monitoring how effective these treatments are, and we will soon be developing a control plan for long-term management of this invasive plant. You may notice our crew out in the estuary this summer doing some of this work. If you come across areas where we are working on controlling the grass with cardboard we ask that you not disturb these sites.
We would like to acknowledge the financial support we have received for this project from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the cardboard that has been kindly held and donated by Mountain City Cycle.
We are looking for volunteers to help with this work. Specifically, we need volunteer help to:
1. Prepare cardboard – we have been using large bicycle boxes. All metal staples, tape, and plastic labels need to be removed from the boxes before we can use them for shading.
2. Prepare coat-hanger “stakes” for staking down cardboard shading. This involves using wire cutters to cut metal coat hangers, bending the hangers into stakes, and tying a piece of biodegradable flagging tape to each stake.
3. Lay out and stake cardboard over patches of mowed reed canary grass in the estuary. This work involves walking on uneven and slippery terrain.
4. Dig out small patches of reed canary grass.
Please contact Bea Proudfoot at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-703-2871.
Project Watershed held a community forum via Zoom to explain the restoration process that we are embarking on at Kus-kus-sum beginning June 21st, 2021. This is recording of that Zoom meeting.
Summer is almost here and Project Watershed is gearing up for another round of surf smelt sampling on beaches around the Comox Valley.
Thank you to everyone who participated in and contributed to our Earth Week activities! We had to make some adjustments to keep everyone safe but in the end we were able to show our appreciation for the Earth and have some fun too.
In lieu of doing a group cleanup, we are asking that people do a cleanup with their bubble at a pre-selected beach as part of a Decentralized Cleanup!
Here at Project Watershed, we believe understanding your landscape or waterscape is the first step to becoming a steward of that landscape. So please join us on this experiential exploration of your watershed! As a bonus, each time you share a photo and comment on Facebook or Instagram, you will be entered into a raffle to win one of three $20.00 gift cards from the Co-op Peninsula.
Spring has sprung and we are busy planning for Earth Week 2021! Earth Week is April 16 – 22, and we will be celebrating our love for this planet with a host of activities to support the health of our Lands and Waters.