Increasingly, Project Watershed receives requests from government agencies, businesses, students, individuals and local stewardship groups for access to collected data in the form of detailed maps & reports. Draft maps produced during mapping projects have been used in a limited way already for a variety of applications including raising local interest, habitat protection referrals, restoration planning, liquid waste management, watershed and OCP planning and real estate purchasing or development referrals.

Project Watershed’s mapping and inventory reports have been provided to fisheries agency staff at the federal and provincial level and are available on the Internet at the Community Mapping Network website www.cmnbc.ca and here on Project Watershed’s website.

Mapping and Inventory Methods and Standards:

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Project Watershed’s mapping and inventory work results in detailed biophysical descriptions of streams and wetlands that aid land-use decision making and watershed planning and protection. Utilizing a standardized methodology, Sensitive Habitat Inventory and Mapping (SHIM), accurate locations and attributes, species presence and abundance and habitat features of streams, wetlands and shore zone areas are documented. Standardized RIC GPS procedures are used in combination with state of the art GPS equipment resulting in quality controlled/assured data suitable for utilization by government partners in community planning or land use guidelines.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Mapping, inventory and assessment data is compiled in Arcview GIS. The resulting “smart Maps are used to update and expand the Comox Valley Sensitive Habitat Atlas. Accurate maps and reports are created and data is provided to community decision-makers: citizens, government agencies, industry, volunteers and stewardship groups in a user-friendly format, (Internet based GIS, Arcview format, Access databases, hard copy and digital maps and reports).

Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM)

The Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) method was developed with the interest, cooperation and participation of many individuals and groups within British Columbia. SHIM method development is ongoing and integrates at least seven years of experience and consultation with specialists, local community groups and agencies within the Georgia Basin and West Coast of British Columbia.  SHIM was initiated through the Fish Habitat Inventory and Information Program (FHIIP) through cooperation between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Water, Lands and Air Protection along with many municipalities and non government groups, partners in fisheries inventory and information systems in BC. SHIM methods and standards have evolved since the inception of mapping at Project Watershed. The methodology used for data collection at the time that these maps and reports were developed was an earlier version of SHIM. The maps and reports in this compilation

Comox Valley Project Watershed Society SHIM Reports 1998-2000, were collected using a Trimble Pro XR GPS and compass and chain, using “Stream Mapping Procedures for Land-Use Planning in Coastal Urban Watersheds” version 3.1. Geo-referencing was accomplished using a combination of GPS and compass and chain for establishing locations and field data was collected by hand on data cards. Comparative tests conducted by the then Ministry of Environment found that this method was accurate and reliable for depicting of stream locations. (SHIM methods used for mapping projects occurring after 2001 have used the SHIM methods manual which can be downloaded at http://www.shim.bc.ca/SHIM_Methods.html)