Kus-kus-sum Restoration Plans 2022
Zoom Recording of the 2021 Kus-kus-sum Forum
3 Phase Restoration Plan
Restoration Map – Northwest Hydraulic Consultants
Cross section of a natural riparian area
Sheet Piling Removal
The restoration of the Kus-kus-sum site is being carried out in three phases. Phase I of the restoration, removal of the hard surfacing, has been completed and we are now in Phase II. This year, we will survey in the new shoreline and the new elevations for the site. We will then begin excavating down to these elevations. Excavation and earthworks will be carried out by Leighton Contracting Ltd., a K’omoks Economic Development Corporation joint venture partner.
Some of the excavated soils will be used on site, however, the bulk of them will be transported offsite. We are working closely with TerraWest to makes sure all soils are handled appropriately. Most of the soils have been found to be within compliance levels (deemed not contaminated) and can be reused. Any contaminated soils will be moved to a permitted handling facility and reviewed by a 3rd party CSAP (contaminated sites approved professional).
Currently, we are in urgent need of donations to help with removing soils from the site. Removing soils will make up the bulk of this years work and we have recently found out that there are a few small patches that will need remediation. We have delineated these patches and located a facility that can accept the material, however, it is father and requires more handling than previously budgeted. The soils need to be removed this summer to ensure that we can continue with the rest of the earthworks planned for this year. You can Sponsor a Salmon or send us a donation via our website, etransfer or cheque to help us fill the gap. We appreciate all contributions and thank everyone for their continued support of this monumental project.
The Restoration Map illustrates our plans. There will be a salt marsh bench (teal) along the site as well as an island (green) with a deep pool (dark blue) behind it to the south. The upland terrestrial area will be filled with gravel, capped with topsoil and re-vegetated. The brown line on the map denotes a berm that we will be created along Comox Road to protect it from flood events.
The restoration design was developed in partnership with Northwest Hydraulic Consultants. Highlights include:
- A raised salt marsh island feature with trees
- A deep pond in the south end of the site providing deep water refuge for fish
- Various elevations throughout the site supporting various vegetation types
- Complex intertidal channels to provide refuge for fish
After the site is re-graded, re-contoured and the soil is amended, the area will be re-vegetated with native plant species. The Hollyhock flats area adjacent to the south end of the site will be used as a planting template.
Elevation plays a large role in the selection of plants and the locations they will be planted to accommodate the rising and falling tides. Due to this tidal influence we will be planting salt marsh species, which are salt tolerant, below the shoreline. Above the shoreline in the green area on the map, we will be panting native trees and shrubs. As we will be recreating a natural streamside or riparian area the final result will look similar to the cross section shown on this page.
In the third and final phase, the metal sheet piling will be removed, re-connecting the site back to the Courtenay River. The removal of the wall will occur from the river. A barge carrying an excavator with a special attachment will be moved up river during an appropriately high tide. The excavator will vibrate the panels of the wall loose and they will be transported away to be recycled. The timing of this phase of the project will depend on factors such the completion of our soil stabilization measures, the fisheries window and tide windows.
We are interested in developing a Courtenay River-Hollyhock Channel in the future, however, that will be a stand alone project that may occur later when funds are available.
For more information about the Kus-kus-sum Project click the link below!
The crew worked at Glen Urquhart every day last week! Construction of the riffles was in full swing and was the main focus for Cain and Renée. Jay, who has been leading the restoration of the creek, provided help and guidance during each step.
We are very excited to announce our 2022 Keeping It Living Dinner at 40 KNOTS Winery. Please join us September 17th from 5-8pm to celebrate ecological restoration and watershed research right here in the Comox Valley. We are looking forward to sharing local food, wine and music, and celebrating significant milestones with you, our community.
Happy Technician Tuesday! The week started off with a fun photo shoot with The Now Group showcasing our work at Kus-kus-sum for Clean BC, a provincial program to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets. After the shoot, extensive weeding of Kus-kus-sum occupied the team for the rest of the afternoon.
Happy Technician Tuesday! Happy Technician Tuesday! At Kus-Kus-Sum, Renée and Cain completed a plant inventory of the north end vegetation.
Technician Tuesday is starting again! Each Tuesday through July and August, we will post a short write-up outlining what our two field technicians have been up to.
Meet our new Communications Specialist!