Kus-kus-sum Deconstruction, Phase 1 – Dock Removal
For many, including Wartig, this process has been long in the making. He said “It feels like this has come full circle. I started discussing deconstruction plans with Interfor and others in the early 2000’s and now they are hiring me to initiate this process. It may have taken a long time, but there was always some form of communication or negotiations happening to ensure the dream of the property being returned to nature would be fulfilled.”
The dock and dolphins (several poles strapped together with cables) are referred to as “improvements” by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO). In order to transfer the water lot leases to another entity or entities, Interfor must remove the “improvements” as a stipulation from MFLNRO. Project Watershed entered into an agreement with Interfor to purchase the property in 2017. While we have not completed the purchase of the site, this work is being done in good faith of that agreement.
The planning for this project has included notifications to MFLNRO and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, discussions with the Courtenay Airpark, Courtenay City Hall, Interfor and Project Watershed, and creating a sediment/erosion control and safety plan. The removal process will take about a week. It will include removing the dock at the south end of the property, the pilings around the dock and the dolphins at the south and north end of the property. If time and resources permit, other debris that has accumulated against the steel wall will also be removed. This will not include removing the steel wall or any restoration activities. “While there is work happening on the property, we want everyone to know that we have not yet acquired it. We are still fundraising and cannot start restoration activities until we have acquired the property,” stated Tim Ennis, Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum Project Manager.
“Even though we have not acquired the property, we feel that this is the first tangible step of returning the land to nature and we are very excited,” said Dan Bowen, Project Watershed Technical Director.
To date Project Watershed has raised $2.4 million of the $6.5 million they estimate is needed to purchase and restore the site. The organization has also submitted a $1 million dollar grant application to the Federal Government through Canada’s Nature Fund. Locally they have raised $423,000 of the $500,000 they have targeted from the community.
Project Watershed is scheduled to make their next payment to Interfor at the end of October. In preparation for this, the organization aims to raise $35,000 by October 20, 2019. “We are hoping that the publicity surrounding the dock removal helps us reach our October target early as we have another $35,000 target coming up in December,” reports Caila Holbrook, Project Watershed Manager of Fundraising, Outreach and Mapping. The closing date for purchasing the property is June 20th, 2020.
Sponsor a Salmon
Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum project is important for supporting the broader Salish Sea Ecosystem. The project will restore habitat for fish and wildlife, attenuate flooding, and create habitat connectivity to adjacent conservation lands in the estuary. Kus-kus-sum provides habitat for mobile species, such as salmon, that utilize the broader Salish Sea ecosystem in their lives.
The B.C. government has set aside $1.5 billion for COVID-19 economic recovery. Dogwood BC recently surveyed supporters and allies to ask how that stimulus money should be spent in ways that will put people back to work, advance our climate goals and build stronger communities.
Working together to manage the K'ómoks EstuaryProject Watershed has taken an active part in helping create a plan for integrated management of the estuary across all governing bodies to ensure estuary health and resilience.The Comox Valley Regional District took the...
Project Watershed worked with local artist Robert Lundquist to create this video which outlines how nature will be restored at Kus-kus-sum.
This film highlights why people, businesses, schools etc… are supporting the Kus-kus-sum Project.
This film gives a glimpse of what the old Field Sawmill site (Kus-kus-sum) could look like once it is transformed into nature.
If you haven’t already seen it, CBC did a radio interview and a post about our Kus-kus-sum project. Thank you, CBC! We’d also like to acknowledge the importance of the collaboration of the City of Courtenay and K’ómoks First Nation in moving toward our vision for this spot!
Some of you may be asking what effect COVID-19 will have on the Kus-kus-sum project. Even though we do not know the full extent of the effects of this pandemic, we remain committed to unpaving paradise at Kus-kus-sum and confident of success.