2022 Eelgrass Restoration Update
What is Eelgrass and Why is it Important?
Eelgrass is a perennial flowering plant (not a seaweed!) and is referred to as a type of submerged aquatic vegetation. Eelgrass meadows are extremely biodiverse and provide many services to both humans and aquatic species; they protect salmonoids, forage fish and invertebrates from predation and provide shoreline resilience by buffering wave energy and stabilizing sediments. Eelgrass habitats also capture and store blue carbon from the atmosphere which helps to offset the impacts of climate change.
In 2019, Project Watershed developed a coastal restoration plan to address the shrinking eelgrass habitat along our coastline. Eelgrass habitat degradation has been occurring around Vancouver Island for many years from foreshore hardening, industrial and residential shoreline development, and infilling of estuaries.
This spring (2022), Project Watershed planted 1,100 m2 between our subtidal site at Miracle Beach with our team of divers, and our intertidal site at the Trent River estuary. We had help from our amazing volunteers at both sites; at Miracle beach they were preparing the eelgrass for the divers to plant, and at Trent River, they harvested donor stock, prepared the plants, and planted them.
We are aiming to plant 2,000 m2 of eelgrass in total for this project.
A Special Thanks…
This project wouldn’t be possible without a generous donation from our funder, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF Canada is the country’s largest international conservation organization and their vision is “to create a world where nature and people thrive.”
Earthworks Continue at Kus-kus-sum
While the Kus-kus-sum site is already beginning to come into its own, there is still much work to be done. Just over one third of the area was recontoured and planted last year in 2022. Project Watershed aims to recontour and replant the remainder of the site this summer and fall, if funding allows. The key works you will see on site this year include recontouring and regrading, habitat complexing, and native species planting.
Kus-kus-sum Restoration Overview
The restoration will occur in 3 phases. Click below to read more about each phase and scroll down to see a visual representation of the site features found on the restored Kus-kus-sum site. During Phase...
Forage Fish Map
Project Watershed has been surveying beaches for the presence of forage fish and forage fish eggs. The location of the beaches we surveyed last season are shown below. You can hover over each location to see if eggs were found.
Forage Fish Spring Forum April 26
Announcing the 2023 Virtual BC Forage Fish Monitoring Network Spring Forum! This event is an opportunity for all those interested in the conservation of forage fish in British Columbia to come together and learn about the latest research and updates.
The Importance of Estuarine Environments for Pacific Salmon
Fish monitoring at Hollyhock flats will be starting this summer! We’ve summarized a scientific article explaining what kinds of habitat are important to salmonids.
Kus-kus-sum Site History
A short history of the Kus-kus-sum site from pre-European contact to the present day.