This category features all post related to Project Watershed’s new and ongoing projects and initiatives.

June Kus-kus-sum Payment Goal Met and Surpassed

On June 29th Project Watershed sent Interfor half a million dollars as the second interim payment for the purchase of the Kus-kus-sum lands. A large portion of the $400,000 awarded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in March went towards this payment, the remainder will be applied to our December payment. Our community target of $100,000 was also a component of the half a million dollar payment – a target we not only met but surpassed! Thanks to the Denton Family gift of $50,000 (read more), the Nomadic Tempest event which brought in $40,000 (read more) and all our other donors we raised $30,000 more than our target. These funds will be applied to our next payment of $100,000 due on December 20th, 2018, putting us at 30% of the way our next community goal. Read more

Kus-Kus-Sum receives $50,000 from Denton Foundation

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, met with Project Watershed Board Chair, Paul Horgen, and Technical Director, Dan Bowen, and announced that they wanted to become Platinum Donors for Kus-kus-sum with an extremely generous gift of $50,000.

 The Dentons have deep roots in the community, having settled in the area with their 2 young children in 1975. At that time, Frank Denton opened an engineering/surveying consulting practice for Vancouver-based McElhanney, which has now been operating successfully in the Valley for 43 years. He ultimately became senior vice-president for the company and, though now retired, continues to serve as a director. “I worked with Frank on many projects in the past when I was with the Ministry of Transportation”, noted Dan Bowen. Read more

Eelgrass - Zostera marina (planting subtidal), Lora Tryon

Project Watershed Transplanting Eelgrass near Bowser

Angela Spooner, lead Biologist for eelgrass restoration.

Eelgrass - Zostera marina (planting subtidal), Lora Tryon

From June 21-23rd, 2018 Project Watershed will be transplanting subtidal eelgrass near the community of Bowser. Eelgrass forms an important part of the ‘salmon highway’ by providing foraging and refuge areas for young fish including Pacific salmon. In addition, eelgrass provides food for migratory waterfowl, shelter for invertebrates, and spawning surfaces for Pacific herring. It also sequesters carbon, helping to offset some of the impacts of climate change and stabilizes the substrate and moderates wave energy helping to reduce coastal erosion.

Last year Project Watershed received a 5-year funding contribution from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, through the Oceans Protection Plan (to learn more click here).  This funding will allow us to inventory eelgrass, salt marsh and kelp habitats along 120 km of coastline (from the Oyster River Estuary to Annie Creek), develop a Coastal Restoration Plan for the area, and implement restoration projects at sites identified.  500 m2 of eelgrass is planned to be transplanted at the site that has been selected near Bowser.  Afterwards the transplants will be monitored on an on-going basis to assess the success of the restoration.

The lead Biologist for this work is Angela Spooner from Sylvan Island Environmental Consulting.  Community involvement is key for the success of these restoration projects. We feel that engaging the local community in our restoration activities creates ‘ownership’ of the coastal habitats and builds stewardship of these areas beyond the scope of this project. The hope is to have community volunteers helping with both the restoration and long-term monitoring of the projects.  For this particular project teams of volunteers will be tying and bundling eelgrass in preparation for our divers to plant it. If you are interested in learning more about this work or would like to volunteer your time, you can contact Angela directly at:

Sustainable Seafood Chef Ned Bell visits Locals Restaurant to support Kus-kus-sum salmon habitat restoration

Sixty foodies got a special “appetizer” of the BC Seafood Festival when celebrity Chef Ned Bell served a gourmet “estuary luncheon” in the Comox Valley. Canadian cookbook author, national TV personality and champion for sustainable seafood and oceans, Chef Bell came to support Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum project to restore the old sawmill site on the Courtenay River. With partners […]