This category features all post related to Project Watershed’s GIS/GPS/SHIM etc. mapping activities.

Ancient Fish Traps

Results of highly detailed mapping and radiocarbon dating at a vast and largely unknown intertidal fish trap complex indicate a large-scale, technologically sophisticated Aboriginal trap fishery operated at Comox Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia between about 1,300 and 100 years ago.

Watershed Protection Plan now available

The final Watershed Protection Plan for Comox Lake was presented to the Comox Valley water committee on April 12, 2016 and has now been uploaded to the Comox Valley Regional District‘s website on the Watershed Protection page. The plan was accepted by their committee with the exception of water metering requirements with were not included after […]

Project Watershed creates online Comox Valley Map Directory

Local environmental non-profit Project Watershed, in association with other local groups and local governments, has created an online directory of maps for the Comox Valley (CV Map Directory). This directory encompasses a wide array of digitally available maps that pertain to the Comox Valley including but not limited to historic walking tours, sensitive habitats, nature viewing locations and property parcel information.

This initiative came out of an inter-agency meeting organized by the Comox Valley Land Trust. The aim of the meeting was for local groups and local governments to share what they are doing in terms of online mapping and it soon became apparent that an online directory would be useful. With input from the other agencies Project Watershed took the lead in developing the directory which now can be found online at and on the Project Watershed website

The intention of this directory is to be a complete listing of all the digitally available maps for the Comox Valley. Project Watershed invites you to utilize this new tool and to notify them (with the URL) if you know of a digitally available map that does not appear on the list (email –

The Comox Valley Map Directory will be featured at Project Watershed’s upcoming map launch Mapapolooza along with a preview of the much anticipated K’omoks Estuary Interactive Map, the newly created Walking the Watershed Map Booklets and the Comox Valley Cycling Map on Saturday April 25th, the weekend after Earth Day. More information on this event will be available on the Project Watershed website as the month progresses.

Taking Action to Identify Illegal Dump Sites

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service recognizes the ongoing challenges this region experiences with illegal dumping and has recently contracted Wedler Engineering LLP, in partnership with Project Watershed, to map illegal dump sites in the Comox Valley and Strathcona Regional Districts.

This initiative’s first step was to meet with stakeholders (including private industry, landowners, environment groups, community volunteers and local government) to explore and get feedback around the present situation, to identify efforts to combat the issue and to strategize ways to halt illegal dumping in the area.

“We have recently hosted two stakeholder meetings – one in the Comox Valley and the other in Campbell River,” said Sonya Jenssen, project lead with Wedler Engineering. “The information that has been brought forward has been extremely helpful. We can utilize all the work that has already been done to identify sites, to provide us with a better idea of how wide-spread this problem really is in this region.”

The next step is to reach out to the public by providing the tools to be part of the solution. A Facebook group page “Help Prevent Illegal Dumping” has been created as a place where concerned citizens can join to support the project, by sharing photos and information including GPS coordinates to expand the current database. The second tool is a worldwide application called “TrashOut” that can be downloaded to a smartphone. This app allows users to start reporting illegal dump sites by taking a photo of it, and commenting with additional information as such as size and type of material. The report will then appear in a “TrashMap”. Once you have downloaded the app you can assign “Comox Strathcona Waste Management” as your organisation.

“By dumping illegally, violators create a problem that goes deeper than the cost of the clean-up of the sites. It can also have serious effects on the environment, wildlife habitat and the ability of community members to use and enjoy outdoor recreational areas,” said Vince Van Tongeren, engineering analyst for CSWM service. “We have an opportunity with the project to identify where the real issues are and how best to manage the situation now and into the future.”

For more information on the project and to learn more about illegal dumping visit Residents can also send photos of illegal dump sites for mapping to

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service is a function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District. The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs.

Check it out on CTV News! High-tech solution to illegal dumping

Royston Trail Under Construction

Rebuilding the Royston Trail - Shoreline PhotosComox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is going ahead with the reconstruction of the Royston Waterfront Trail. More information and details on their plans can be found on the their website Project Watershed and the Estuary Working Group are working with CVRD Parks Staff and the construction team to ensure that environmental values in the area are optimized. The environmental features that Project Watershed and the Estuary Working Group are interested in are:

• Breaching the Hilton Slough

• Adding Salt Marsh

Breaching the Hilton Slough will allow (tidal movement of water into the now stagnant algae slough). This will encourage a board range of marine flora and fauna to access that area. Once the slough is breached salt marsh will be added both inside the lagoon and outside along the foreshore. This will help to restore the saltmarsh areas back to their original condition before the railway construction and the booming ground activities damaged much of this area.

The saltmarsh restoration process will include mapping, foreshore saltmarsh vegetative reports and construction berms and saltmarsh benches.

Salt marsh is an important habitat type in estuaries. Unfortunately it is also one of the most threatened. Salt marsh losses in estuaries in BC range from 50 to 93%. Salt marsh not only provides habitat and food for marine species but also sequesters carbon helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

To see the construction as it progresses visit This blog by Ross Munro of Royston House shows pictures and brief comments on the development of the trail in his area.


Comox Valley Project Watershed Society announces gift to Comox Valley

Project Watershed, a Comox Valley environmental stewardship organization with a unique state of the art GIS/GPS Mapping Center, announces the presentation of a free online printable set of walking maps for Valley Residents and visitors. The simplest way to get to these maps is to visit Project Watershed’s new website at, where there is a link in the right hand column. Once on the map page you can click right on the 30+ trails either in the map frame on the right or the list of trails on the left. You can overlay the watersheds that your walk will go through on each trail.  A description of your walk will appear on the left. Public Washrooms are indicated as is wheelchair accessibility along with other useful information. If you desire, you can print off individual maps or view on your smart phone or tablet.

Funds to produce these maps were partially supplied by a grant in aid from the Comox Valley Regional District.  “When I first came to the Comox Valley in 2000, no accurate maps for walking the area were available” says Paul Horgen, Chair of the Project Watershed Board of Directors. “There were some booklets for sale, but my wife and I use to get lost all of the time because they were not produced through GIS technology and therefore not very accurate”.

The Comox Valley is a key tourist destination on Vancouver Island.  Project Watershed feels that these free maps will be a welcomed community resource addition for all visitors and residents who enjoy the beautiful outdoors in the Comox Valley.

Valley businesses can show their support for this endeavor right on the map site by making special arrangements with our Mapping Coordinator, Caila Holbrook at or (250) 703 2871. People who would like to GPS trails not yet on the map or to add GPS information to existing trails can contact Mrs. Holbrook as well.

To keep up-to-date with the resources that Project Watershed is creating and the projects they are working on check our website regularly.

Comox Downtown WalkMap Image 10 km walk of town of Comox down to Goose Spit.  This map has a video link and is best used with recently published pamphlet Self Guided Comox Walking Tours Comox by the Sea  available at the Discovery Centre and businesses in Comox.

Comox Valley Watersheds Course

Elder College is offering this course (CVEC 6315) coordinated by Betty Donaldson on Thursdays from Oct 4 – Nov 22 from 11:30 – 1:00.

It is not necessary to be a scientist to appreciate local watersheds that shape the Comox Valley: the Courtenay River (K’omoks) Estuary, the Tsolum and Puntledge Rivers, and 3 urban creeks.  Volunteers who help sustain these shorelines and waters will share their enthusiasm for human and natural history, and identify the unique biodiversity features of each area.  Weather permitting we will have one on-site class to view some spawning salmon.

Registration begins on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:00 am precisely. You can register by one of the following methods:
• Register at
• In person at the North Island College Registration Office.