Project Watershed Plants Eelgrass off of Miracle Beach Park

If you were down at Miracle Beach Park on the weekend of June 22nd you might have noticed a dive boat and divers working just off shore.  The divers were working on transplanting subtidal eelgrass in barren areas off of the park.  The project is part of a larger coastal restoration project being led by the Comox Valley Project Watershed.  Recently Project Watershed completed a coastal mapping inventory of 120 kms of coastline, from the Oyster River estuary to the Annie Creek watershed.  The objective of this work was to assess changes in distribution of nearshore eelgrass, saltmarsh and kelp habitats in order to prioritize sites for restoration. It was determined that the subtidal area off of Miracle Beach Park was a good candidate for an eelgrass restoration project.  This site was prioritized due to the close proximity of healthy eelgrass beds, where donor stock could be harvested from, as well as the fact that the area already has some protection, due to the adjacent upland park.

Divers will be harvesting eelgrass shoots from lush beds near the restoration site.  The eelgrass will then be transported via boat to the Oyster River / Pacific Playgrounds marina where volunteers will prepare the shoots with anchors for the divers to transplant. A total transplant of 1000 m2 is planned, dived into five 200 m2 plots. Post transplant the eelgrass team will be returning to the site to monitor the success of the transplanted areas.  Marker floats attached to lead lines will be left in place to identify the transplant areas.

This story has been published in the Comox Valley Record  and Campbell River Mirror and will be aired on CBC Victoria on Wednesday June 26 at 7:40am by Bill Fee.

 

Project Watershed’s Coastal Restoration Plan Now Available!

Coastal Restoration Fund Update

After many long hours researching, mapping and writing  Project Watershed’s Coastal Restoration Team has produced the first draft of the Salish Sea North East Vancouver Island Salmon Highway (Nearshore Habitat) Coastal Restoration Plan. This foundational document will serve as a guide for future nearshore habitat restoration projects that Project Watershed and our partnering organisations carry out. It catalogs a long list of potential projects including restoration of eelgrass, kelp and salt marsh habitat along approximately 120 kms of shoreline from Oyster River to Fanny Bay.

Before the end of March we will holding two stakeholder input sessions to gather feedback on the document, help prioritize projects and firm up the partnerships necessary to initiate work on the projects that are shown to be top priorities. One of the sessions will be in Oyster River and the other in Fanny Bay. If you are a member of a stakeholder group in the Fanny Bay to Oyster River region please watch for details on the stakeholder sessions.

If you have any questions about this project please email estuary.projectwatershed@gmail.com.

Project Watershed Receives Five-year Funding Contribution from Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Macdonald Wood Park

Signs of Abundance Tour – The information on this page compliments that which appears on the sign that has recently been erected on the boardwalk at the bottom of Croteau Road in Macdonald Wood Park. To go to the map of all the signs in this series click here.

Project Watershed Helps Grow Kelp

Collaborative Bull Kelp Restoration Research Project: Despite their high reproductive capacity, bull kelp beds have been in steady decline in central Strait of Georgia, including Lambert Channel and Baynes Sound in recent decades. Heavy grazing pressure from sea urchins and exceptionally warm water conditions are major factors in the reduction of bull kelp beds locally.

More marshes at Courtenay Airpark and Royston

This spring and summer Project Watershed and some very dedicated and hardworking volunteers have been busy planting saltmarsh around the Courtenay Airpark and Royston Wrecks (check out the photos and time-lapse photography of the plantings in this article).  These saltmarsh areas were created by Project Watershed in order to help restore saltmarsh habitat that has […]