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.
Come out and participate in this special Clean-up effort as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup on September 25 and 26th, 2021.
Thanks to the dedicated work of our contractors, Copcan Civil Ltd., the majority of the concrete on the Kus-kus-sum site has been removed, and piled and crushed.
In July, our technician team ventured into Hollyhock Flats to conduct a plant survey. The goal was to understand the current plant community structures throughout the saltmarsh. This data can be used for restoration efforts at Kus-kus-sum. We also learned about invasive plant presence and range within Hollyhock for future removal efforts.
Welcome to our first Technician Tuesday!
The family of Micah Messent would like to announce their support of the Kus-kus-sum restoration project, and Project Watershed, through the creation of the Micah Messent Legacy Fund. The fund will support the restoration of Kus-kus-sum and Project Watershed’s work to further Micah’s legacy within and beyond the Comox Valley.
Join Project Watershed for our 2021 Keeping It Living Dinner at 40 KNOTS to celebrate environmental restoration and research in the Comox Valley.