Creating Habitat Connectivity
Striving to re-establish habitat connectivity is an important element of restoration design since human activity and alteration of the landscape has caused an increasingly fragmented habitat.
Many species rely on different coastal habitats to fulfil their life cycle. Migrating salmon depend on these habitats for foraging and protection from predators as they out-migrate to the ocean as juveniles, and then once again when they return to spawn as adults. Kelp, saltmarsh and eelgrass also provide crucial habitats for a variety of other fish, birds, mammals and invertebrates.
The net productivity of these three habitats exceeds that of most ecosystems and they are vital to sustaining the “salmon highway”, the migration routes for five species of Pacific Salmon
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.
The Kus-kus-sum project that Project Watershed is spearheading will not only create habitat for fish and wildlife, help mitigate climate, and increase green space, it will also help our community put reconciliation into action.
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.