Our Blue Carbon Initiative
We are also planting eelgrass and restoration salt marsh as part of this Blue Carbon initiative. We started eelgrass planting in 2010 – we did a small pilot project north of the Royston Wrecks and planted 300 shoots with divers and shore volunteers. Recent surveys show that this planting has been a major success with more than a 300% increase in plants! Since then we have done many other plantings including a project with the Department of Defense where we planted over 2400 shoots! 2014 was the first year we did salt marsh plantings. We started with a pilot project to plant 300 square meters also in the Royston Wreck area. Salt marsh planting is a little more complicated than eelgrass planting. One reason is that many of the salt marsh areas have been inundated with Spartina patens an invasive species that we will need to remove and replace with native species.
The Kus-kus-sum project aims to unpave and restore an industrial sawmill site to natural habitat on the banks of an important fish bearing stream in the Comox Valley. As milling took place on the site for about 60 years there is a concern that it is contaminated with chemicals associated with the sawmill industry. In addition to this, the site was filled with a variety of materials (tires, beds etc…) to raise and level the area for sawmill operations.
On June 17-19, 2020 Project Watershed organized a planting session to restore the vulnerable coastline in the Fanny Bay area. During the three days, our staff and 19 volunteers helped plant almost 2500 individual plants, comprised of Salicornia, Distichilis and dune grass species. This planting compliments another coastal restoration project where the shoreline was revegetated to protect the area from erosion.
A variety of native plants, shrubs and trees will be established at Kus-kus-sum as part of the restoration process. This will not only provide food, shelter and habitat for fish and wildlife but also help mitigate climate change. Check out this video to find out more.
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.
A kelp forest is a type of nearshore aquatic habitat, found along rocky coasts with wave action or strong currents in depths of 4 to 20 meters.
Back in February, Project Watershed and volunteers from Aecon Water Infrastructure Inc. planted over 100 native species along a section of Mallard Creek.
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.