Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

The KFN Guardians are preventing rich soils from being eroded

Resident Geese Eating Salt Marsh by Gerry Fairbrother
By reviving cultural practices and innovating restoration techniques, the Guardians are preventing rich soils from being eroded and washed away with the tides.

The KFN Guardians, led by Cory Frank, have developed an eco-cultural restoration solution to utilize young alder, providing the needed strength and structure to hold the fencing in place while allowing salmon fry to move in and out of the area. Other goose-preferred plants such as arrowgrass will thrive in the absence of geese, and smaller birds such as red-winged black birds and kingfishers use the alder poles as perches.

The K’ómoks First Nation (Guardian Department) is very pleased to be partnered with the Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries and the Pacific Salmon Foundation in estuary restoration. Salmon are the lifeblood of many Aboriginal Communities and without the habitat to help sustain salmon stocks as they migrate to the estuary we will all suffer in the decline of these stocks. The K’ómoks Estuary has fed our people for thousands of years and with the restoration work we are embarking on, and the work of many other community and volunteer groups, we can all benefit from this habitat restoration in the future.

Cory Frank

Manager, Guardian Watchmen Department

Next year, the Guardians will begin the process of re-vegetating areas devoid of vegetation with sedges from nearby donor sites. Ongoing monitoring will measure re-growth and use of the estuary by salmon and other species. Tim Clermont, Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries Society’s Executive Director, explained that the project will build resiliency in the estuary. “With habitat loss, warming seas, ocean acidification and overfishing, the salmon and future generations, need this healthy viable habitat to ensure resiliency within the estuary. We are fortunate that KFN and others are so committed to the health of natural habitats.”

For the past five years Project Watershed has been working hard to restore salt marsh and eelgrass habitats in the K’ómoks Estuary to historical abundance. The rising population of resident Canada geese can potentially jeopardize this restoration investment and the recovery of these habitats. Therefore, we are happy to see that a management strategy to deal with the overgrazing by geese is being pursued by the Guardians of the Mid-Island Estuaries society in our local estuary.

Jennifer Sutherst

Estuary Coordinator and Staff Biologist, Comox Valley Project Watershed Society

Human Resources

Related Posts

Soil Contamination at Kus-kus-sum

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.

Kus-kus-sum Helps Tackle Climate Change – Unpave Paradise

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.

Kus-kus-sum Supports the Salish Sea – Unpave Paradise

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.

Kus-kus-sum Morphing Video

Project Watershed worked with local artist Robert Lundquist to create this video which outlines how nature will be restored at Kus-kus-sum.

Imagine Kus-kus-sum

This film gives a glimpse of what the old Field Sawmill site (Kus-kus-sum) could look like once it is transformed into nature.

Resident Geese Overgraze

These resident geese overgraze the vegetation and grub the roots of the ‘marsh platform’ – a thick accumulation of nutrient-dense soils from land, freshwater aquatic and marine sources bound together by vegetation.

Kus-kus-sum Deconstruction, Phase 1 – Dock Removal

GADD equipment will initiate work to remove the dock and dolphin pilings at Kus-kus-sum (the old Field Sawmill site) on August 19, 2019 under the supervision of Warren Wartig, Registered Professional Biologist and Dock Removal Project Manager for Interfor.