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Getting Warmer: Globally 2015 Exceeds All Other Years

by Paul Horgen – Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Board Chair Project Watershed


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Quoting the great New York Yankee hall of fame catcher Yogi Berra, “Its deja vu all over again.”

In an announcement released on Wednesday, January 20th, Both NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reported that 2015 was the warmest year since global temperatures were first recorded. During the same week last January, the same message was reported for 2014. These two US based agencies report that globally the high temperatures were fueled by record El Niño and its affect on climate change. In 2015, the month of December became the first month ever to increase 2 degrees F. In most of North America, December was more like March or April.

Despite this global information, the hottest year on record did not apply to Canada. According to Environment Canada, Atlantic Canada was one of the only regions on the planet that had cooler-than average temperatures last year. Canada only experienced the 11th warmest year on record in 2015.

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Project Watershed Fundraiser – Art for the Estuary

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Project Watershed Fundraiser

Art for the Estuary

View this years world class art at the Pearl Ellis Gallery May 12 – 31st

Upstairs Downstairs Gala Evening

May 23, 7-9pm at the Pearl Ellis Gallery and Lions Den

A ticketed event ($20pp) featuring:
A taste of the Estuary – local food and beverages
A live juried auction as well as a silent auction of the Keeping It Living art
Project Watershed news and information
Works of art featured online at: projectwatershed.ca/keeping-living-2015-gallery/
Online bidding is now open at: projectwatershed.ca/keeping-living-2015-auction/
This is your chance to get great value on an original local artwork and help mitigate climate change.
Minimum bid starts at half price!


Keeping-it-Living-Stillness

2015 Sponsorship Print “Stillness”
by Internationally Renowned Northwest Coast Artist
Andy Everson
Limited edition prints
For sale online at projectwatershed.ca/keeping-living-2015-auction/

 


With your support over the past five years we have attracted over $500,000 in grant money.
This has allowed us to embark on local, national and internationally significant projects such as Blue Carbon research and restoration. As we are a small non profit these major undertakings require long term commitment and support from our community. Your contributions help us protect and restore our estuary and establish protocols for other estuaries worldwide.

 

Mapapolooza

For Earth Day this year Project Watershed is celebrating two of its highly anticipated mapping products: the K’omoks Estuary Interactive Map and the Walking the Watersheds Map Booklet 10am to 2pm on Saturday, April 25th at the Vancouver Island Visitor’s Centre. The Comox Valley Cycling Map and the newly created Comox Valley Map Directory will also be featured. Kids, adults, the young at heart – there will be something for everyone from interactive activities to door prizes. Door prizes include a limited edition Keeping it Living print, a Broken Spoke Gift Card, a Walking the Watersheds Map Booklet and a Cycling Map.

 

Sponsorship Drive
Limited Edition Prints – $100

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2014 – Martha Ponting

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2013 – Shirley Dickie

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2012 – Rena Rogers

Keeping-it-Living-Mingling-Waters

2011 – Jennifer Weber

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2010 – Bev Byerley SOLD OUT Available as a poster or original sized giclee only.

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Children’s Author Makes Donation to Project Watershed

Paul Horgen, author of the children’s book Tales of Kona the Guide Dog and board chair of Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is pleased to present the society with a $500 donation from the proceeds of book sales. This fun and colourful book chronicles the life and times of Paul’s lovely guide dog Kona. Kona narrates the book, telling her story to children, parents, teachers and grandparents.

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Photo caption: Paul Horgen presents Project Watershed’s Estuary Coordinator, Jennifer Sutherst with a cheque for $500.00.

“The book was published in early December and marketed locally in the valley. It has done very well, and I am so happy to make this first donation to Project Watershed. I have pledged to contribute a portion of the profits to my two favourite charities, Project Watershed and BC and Alberta Guide Dog Services, and I am hoping that this donation will be the first of many,” says Horgen. This donation has been earmarked for Project Watershed’s “Keeping It Living” art fundraising campaign, which runs from May 12 – 31 at the Pearl Ellis gallery.

Anyone wishing to order the book can do so online at talesofkona.com or email talesofkona@gmail.com. A reading of the book will be held at the Comox Library on Monday, March 30. Children will have an opportunity to meet Kona at work and at play.

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*Read this article in the Comox Valley Echo at – http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/community/children-s-author-makes-donation-to-project-watershed-1.1809861

Keeping It living – Calling all ARTISTS

Project Watershed is inviting you to join us in inspiring the Comox Valley to experience the estuary by submitting a piece of your work in our 6th annual Keeping it Living Art competition and silent auction.

Keeping it Living is an art and literature awareness and fundraising campaign to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary.


Keeping it Living
Art for the Estuary
Then, Now and Future

The year’s title “Then, Now and Future” is to inspire the artist to capture their version of the past, present and future of the estuary…or all three! And as in every year the theme encompasses “all things estuary”, and is wide open to the whole ecosystem which extends into the Georgia Strait. Nationally renowned First Nations artist Andy Everson will be creating a unique image for this years’ campaign. Join Andy in the creation of art inspired by our one of  kind estuary.

All types of art including (but not limited to) painting, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, photography and glass are encouraged.

Art is displayed as follows:

Details:

  • Artwork image submitted online as JPEG using the form found at www.keepingitliving.ca or by clicking here.
  • Artwork must be submitted with entry fee ($20) and form (2 pieces can be submitted for this fee)
  • All mediums accepted; must be your own original work
  • Creative writing pieces are free to enter; max 200 words
  • All 2D artwork must be framed and/or ready to hang
  • All entries must be for sale, proceeds split 50/50 between Artist and Project Watershed
  • Submission deadline is Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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Webcast for PICS seminar October 16, 2014

On 16 October 2014 Paul Horgen (Chair of the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society) and Christine Hodgson of North Island College (Chair of the Math and Science Department) were invited to speak at the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions “Climate Seminar Series”.

 

Paul Horgen

Many thanks to Megan Jameson and the PICS staff for having us over and capturing our presentation on video. We are very pleased to be able to share this information with our supporters.

Paul HorgenChair - Comox Valley Project Watershed Society

Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up

Kathryn Clouston

Trust you all had a relaxing and enjoyable summer and are keen to get out and enjoy some great fall days in our valley’s superb natural environment.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup will be running for a week (Sept 20 to 28) so it will give you a moral reason to be out helping to clean up your local streams and waterways.

If you want to participate in an organized cleanup the CV Nature group will be picking up litter at the Airpark on Sunday, Sept 21st and I have registered the Simms Park area on behalf of Project Watershed to be groomed on Sunday, September 28th (also BC Rivers Day).

Both cleanup parties will be meeting at their respective parking lots and run from 10 AM until noon . Bring gloves and a garbage bag (also family and friends) and wear appropriate footwear. Refreshments will be served during a tally-up of debris at the end.

Hope to see you out there – working to better our natural environment is always a feel-good and very worthwhile activity.

Kathryn CloustonProject Watershed Staff Member

Project watershed’s Pacific Institute for Climate Studies Internship Report

Russell Prentice

I have had a busy and exciting first month with Project Watershed. In the first couple weeks I assisted with eelgrass bed restoration. My duties included the maintenance and operation of a small boat, preparing eel-grass for planting and shuttling divers to planting sites. I also helped to survey inter-tidal sites that will later be restored using a GPS.

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After that I began to help with the collection of sediments that will be analyzed for their carbon content. I worked off the “Chetleo” from VIU to collect sub-tidal samples and also collected sediment cores in inter-tidal areas.

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I have also been creating field equipment, such as quadrats and a plumb line, that will be used for our field work in the coming weeks.

Russell PrenticeProject Watershed Pacific Institute for Climate Studies Intern

Blue Carbon Pilot Project in Comox Valley Getting Attention

CVRecord-genericfeaturedimageBy  Mandy Larade – Comox Valley Recordposted Apr 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM

A letter of federal recognition was given to the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society on the Blue Carbon Pilot Project from federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

“Your organization’s contribution is an essential part of the environmental agenda. I wish the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society every success in carrying out this important initiative for a healthy environment,” writes the minister.

In March, the Blue Carbon Pilot Project received $230,000 through the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) grant program of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). They also accepted a $10,000 grant from the Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions to hire a student summer intern from a university — a first for the Blue Carbon Pilot Project.

Paul Horgen, chair of the board of the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, is pleased with the minister’s recognition of the initiative, and hopes that both local and federal politicians will give ear to the cause. “I want to encourage politicians who don’t think about it to think about it,” Horgen says.

The Blue Carbon Pilot Project’s overall objective is to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide damage in the environment, which is predicted to reduce climate change. The main goals include growing the estuarine habitat, restoring shorelines, and fostering a community understanding and action about the issue.

In total, British Columbia has 27, 200 kilometres of shoreline and 422 estuaries. Coastal vegetation such as marshes and seagrasses are incredibly efficient at absorbing and storing the carbon dioxide. The carbon stored within these aquatic environments is known as blue carbon.

Eelgrass, also known as Zostera marina, is one of the seagrasses that is able to hold the carbon. The education, preservation and expansion of eelgrass growth is a key component to the success of the project.

One of the next steps for the Blue Carbon Pilot Project is to figure out how to measure the carbon in these aquatic environments. “We need to measure what’s in the current sediments now, and take samples from a non-eelgrass location and an eelgrass location to measure the carbon,” Horgen says.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae is excited to have project based in the Comox Valley, and believes that it will go beyond the local shorelines. “The project has a huge benefit to the Comox Valley, and potentially up and down the coast of North America,” McRae says. McRae notes that there are always environmental issues for local politicians to address in their communities, and that this one is well worth the time. “It’s a brilliant idea.”

In the meantime, the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is waiting to hear back from other grant applications. Horgen says that once the amount of funding is known, then they can move forward in searching for the proper amount of volunteers and workers needed. “That’s one of the things I think is often not really well understood, is that stewardship groups bring volunteers and tourists in, and are providing economic input to the Comox Valley,” Horgen adds.

K’omoks Estuary 2014 – Keeping It Living: The Return of Abundance (January 2014)

Keeping It Living 2014 – An art & literature awareness & fundraising campaign to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary; This year includes a Sponsorship Drive and Events.

Thanks from everyone at Project Watershed

Project Watershed thanks the Vancouver Foundation for their donation $20,000 towards the creation of a publicly accessible online Interactive Map of the K’ómoks Estuary – which will be available soon!

Celebrating ART and ACHIEVEMENTS since 2009

Project Watershed has been conducting the The Keeping It Living Campaign to raise awareness and funds for the protection and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary since 2009. We are taking this year to celebrate the art that has honored our cause, the achievements we have made and our future aspirations. To this end we are focusing on our sponsorship artworks and the following activities during the month of April.

  • Keeping It Living Collection Art Display – In the George Sawchuk Gallery of the CV Art Gallery, April 16th to May 3rd

  • Keeping It Living Earthweek Gala – An event featuring wine,  cheese, music, art and performance art

  • Keeping It Living for Earth Day – Estuary art and performance for the whole family

  • Keeping It Living by Bike – A cycling tour of the Estuary

  • Estuary Walks and Talks – Guided walks in the Estuary

Protect this WORLD CLASS ESTUARY with WORLD CLASS ART

The K’ómoks Estuary has been termed “the heart of our watershed”. It is a unique feature of the Comox Valley which enriches our community and supports our high quality of life, vibrate bird communities, wealth of outdoor activities, and rebounding salmon populations. It also has a rich First Nations history. It has been severely impacted over the years but these industries have moved and it is now time to restore its natural abundance. We are inviting residents to contribute to our efforts by:

ESTUARY and ECONOMY

Protecting the estuary not only makes sense environmentally but also economically. Bev Byerley’s painting speaks to the quality of life we enjoy in the Comox Valley. Economists use property values among others to capture this value financially. The Estuary Working Group has produced a vision document and is  working on a Management Plan to help sustain that quality of life and uphold those economic values. We hope to have this plan adopted by local, provincial and federal governments. Click here for more Estuary and Economy facts!

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View From Airpark by Bev Byerley

See who is Keeping It Living at the Swan Festival

Every year Project Watershed bestows an array of Keeping It Living Awards to a deserving group and chosen artists. These awards are part of a campaign created to promote community knowledge of and pride in the K’omoks Estuary. One such award is the Keeping It Living Award, a merit based award that recognises an organisation, group or business exhibiting leadership in protecting and restoring the K’omoks Estuary.  The other awards – People’s Choice, Artist’s Choice and Keeping It Living’s Choice – go to artists from their winning submissions to the Keeping It Living Campaign’s Art Competition. You are invited to come out to acknowledge and celebrate these awards as they are presented at the Swan Festival in the K’omoks First Nations Hall 12 noon Saturday November 23rd.

 This year the Estuary Working Group and Project Watershed will be bestowing the 2013-14 Keeping It Living Award on the Comox Valley Naturalists. In making this Award, we wish to recognize the contribution the Naturalists have made over the years in protecting and restoring vital habitat in the K’όmoks Estuary. This includes the many years spent removing invasive species, planting native species, undertaking habitat restoration, and gathering a wealth of local information through bird counts and botany surveys. Historically this includes the work done on a Trent River Study which led to it remaining a natural area, getting the estuary and surrounding area designated as an Important Bird Area, promoting the idea of converting the Sewage Lagoon to the present day Air Park and helping to save Hollyhock Marsh. Comox Valley Nature is also recognized for its public education efforts – the nature walks you have provided and the information on your website has led to greater awareness and more intimate knowledge of plant and bird life in the Estuary.

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Bev Byerley “View from Courtenay Air Park #34”

The Naturalists will be receiving the original Bev Byerley painting “View from the Courtenay Air Park #34” to display in a location of their choice for one year. This painting was generously donated to Project Watershed in 2010 for this purpose.

Bev Byerley herself will be at the ceremony as she will be receiving the Artist’s Choice Award for  “View from the Courtenay Air Park #66”. Shirley Dickie will be receiving the People’s Choice Award for her painting “Reaching Up” and Martha Ponting will be receiving the Keeping It Living’s Choice Award for “Living Waters”. Project Watershed thanks these artists and all the other artists (~40) who contributed pieces to the competition and auction this year. “It is a wonderful show of support for the Estuary from the Art Community” says Paul Horgen, Chair of Project Watershed.

Martha Ponting has graciously donated Living Waters, as Keeping It Living’s Choice, to be used as the image for the 2014 Keeping It Living Campaign.  Art cards, posters and limited edition prints of this and the previous years winners will be on display and available for purchase at the Swan Festival.  They are also available online at https://projectwatershed.ca/get-involved/donate/. Purchasing any of these items raises funds for activities such as eelgrass planting, habitat restoration and protection. If you are were looking to offset some holiday travel through the purchase of carbon credits or for an ecofriendly gift, a Keeping It Living card, poster or print will not only improve your local environment but also keep the money in the community.

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Martha Ponting “Living Waters”

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Bev Byerley ” View from the Courtenay Air Park #66″

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Shirley Dickie ” Reaching Up”