Blue Carbon Fact Sheet
Blue Carbon refers to the long-term storage of carbon in sediments underlying marine and aquatic plants. The sea grass/eelgrass (Zostera marina) and salt marsh habitats are known to sequester and store carbon at very high levels compared to vegetation on land. The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society has developed a community-based protocol to allow coastal organizations in the Salish Sea to assess and identify Blue
Carbon opportunities in their local estuary. We developed a method to map eelgrass and salt marsh with minimal technical expertise yet provide very accurate results.
We hypothesized that carbon sequestration is influenced by local geography and hydrology so that different areas of the estuary sequesters carbon at different rates and much of the carbon associated with eelgrass plant material is carried out of the estuary and deposited elsewhere. These factors should be considered when selecting an area to carry out Blue Carbon projects and eelgrass habitat restoration.
Empirical observations suggest that during storms and heavy wave action sloughed eelgrass may become buried under sand/silt above the high tide line, and hydrological assessments and observations on secluded shorelines have revealed major dumps of eelgrass detritus. We have initiated a pilot study sampling sediments from shoreline and other areas in the estuary to assess sea grass DNA distribution. We tested for the presence of a Z. marina DNA signature in shoreline sediments and core samples taken from various areas.
Earthworks Continue at Kus-kus-sum
While the Kus-kus-sum site is already beginning to come into its own, there is still much work to be done. Just over one third of the area was recontoured and planted last year in 2022. Project Watershed aims to recontour and replant the remainder of the site this summer and fall, if funding allows. The key works you will see on site this year include recontouring and regrading, habitat complexing, and native species planting.
Kus-kus-sum Restoration Overview
The restoration will occur in 3 phases. Click below to read more about each phase and scroll down to see a visual representation of the site features found on the restored Kus-kus-sum site. During Phase...
Forage Fish Map
Project Watershed has been surveying beaches for the presence of forage fish and forage fish eggs. The location of the beaches we surveyed last season are shown below. You can hover over each location to see if eggs were found.
Forage Fish Spring Forum April 26
Announcing the 2023 Virtual BC Forage Fish Monitoring Network Spring Forum! This event is an opportunity for all those interested in the conservation of forage fish in British Columbia to come together and learn about the latest research and updates.
The Importance of Estuarine Environments for Pacific Salmon
Fish monitoring at Hollyhock flats will be starting this summer! We’ve summarized a scientific article explaining what kinds of habitat are important to salmonids.
Kus-kus-sum Site History
A short history of the Kus-kus-sum site from pre-European contact to the present day.