Comox 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 www.comoxvalleyrd.ca. 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.