Salt Marsh Restoration in the K’ómoks Estuary at Dyke Slough
A tidal marsh is a type of habitat found along coasts and estuaries which is regularly flooded by the tides. The vegetation found in these areas has evolved adaptations to this inundation by marine waters. These marshes are among the most productive ecosystems in our region, with a number of species including waterfowl, other migratory birds, and salmonids using these marshes as habitat. They are home to stunning plant biodiversity and have been important sites of cultivation and harvest of staple food plants, such as silverweed (Potentilla egedii), Camas (Camassia spp.) and Northern riceroot (Fritillaria camschatcensis) for Coast Salish peoples.
Human influences have led to loss of marsh in the estuary. Some anthropogenic influences include climate change, in-creased storm frequency and intensity, and grazing from resident Canada Geese populations.
The map on this page shows lost, historic salt marsh in red, degraded salt marsh in orange, and intact salt marsh in light green. The area in green with hash marks shows a marsh restoration project under-taken in March of 2021 by Project Watershed, funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Coastal Restoration Fund.
This restoration built up a new marsh platform to replace lost, historic tidal marsh. The newly built platform (bottom photo) is then planted, all to help support wildlife and coastal resiliency in our thriving estuary.
Project Watershed held a community forum via Zoom to explain the restoration process that we are embarking on at Kus-kus-sum beginning June 21st, 2021. This is recording of that Zoom meeting.
Summer is almost here and Project Watershed is gearing up for another round of surf smelt sampling on beaches around the Comox Valley.
Project Watershed’s very own Bill Heidrick received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary Club of Courtenay on June 1, 2021.
We are excited to announce that we are starting restoration works at Kus-kus-sum site June 21th, 2021.
Project Watershed’s Estuary Working Group has chosen the Cumberland Community Forest Society as the 2020 Keeping It Living Award recipients.
Even though there isn’t much activity on the Kus-kus-sum site just yet, don’t be fooled. Behind the scenes, Project Watershed staff and volunteers are busy getting everything ready to start removing the hard surfacing, both concrete and asphalt on site this summer.