nearshore habitat restoration
salt marsh, eelgrass and kelp
Project Watershed’s Salish Sea North East Vancouver Island Salmon Highway (Nearshore Habitat) Coastal Restoration Plan identifies 70 potential nearshore habitat restoration projects along the east coast of Vancouver Island (between the Oyster River and Annie Creek near Qualicum Bay).
Projects were identified by examining changes in the distribution of eelgrass, salt marsh and kelp habitat using historic and current aerial images and coupling this information with an extensive shore-zone assessment and literature review. The plan will guide future nearshore habitat restoration projects undertaken by Project Watershed and our partnering organizations. This is a living document that will be adapted and added to as new data and information about the identified projects arise.
This restoration built up a new marsh platform to replace lost, historic tidal marsh. The newly build platform is then planted, all to help support wildlife and coastal resiliency in our thriving estuary.
Spring – a great time for planting in your garden and in the intertidal/subtidal zones. Once again Project Watershed will be working to restore eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitats by undertaking transplants in areas where the eelgrass is sparse or missing as determined by our coastal nearshore habitat mapping work.
Nikki Wright from Seachange Marine Conservation Society and Maria Cantazaro from the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) visited our kelp research site at Oyster River and our saltmarsh projects. Maria is a researcher working for the PSF on a report looking at the importance of nearshore, habitat connectivity and estuarine habitat to Pacific salmon.