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Project Watershed Fundraiser – Art for the Estuary

KeepingItLiving2015-background

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

Keeping-it-Living-Living-Waters

2014 – Martha Ponting

Keeping-it-Living-light

2013 – Shirley Dickie

dyke-road-fog-w

2012 – Rena Rogers

Keeping-it-Living-Mingling-Waters

2011 – Jennifer Weber

Keeping-it-Living-View-From-Airpark

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

Project Watershed 2014 Volunteer Appreciation event

On 12/12/2014 Project Watershed invited their regular volunteers, and some other friends, to an appreciation event at the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre in downtown Courtenay.

With more than 50 attendees, including some of the local city council members who openly support Project Watershed’s work, enjoying local snacks and refreshments, the event highlighted the interconnected nature of the organisation’s work.

In this video some top volunteers are acknowledged individually by Project Watershed chair Paul Horgen and Acting Estuary Coordinator Jennifer Sutherst.

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

aerialestuary

 

Courtenay Council Candidates Consider Field Sawmill Site

With an election coming in a few days, all of the candidates running in Courtenay are firming up their platforms. One of the important issues facing our beautiful community and is on the minds of not only citizens of Courtenay,  but all of us who have chosen the Comox Valley as our home, is the old Field Saw Mill site.  In November of last year, Project Watershed presented some preliminary ideas about the site and published them in local papers.  They included feasibility of restoration.  We have recently submitted our most current thoughts in another article submitted to local papers in the first week in November.

 
I can tell you as a speaker that has talked to Rotary clubs, Probus clubs, Newcomer groups and courses that I have taught on the Estuary at NIC Elder College, that a question that comes up at every talk or course is, “What is going to happen to the old Field Sawmill Site?”
What to do with the Fields Saw Mill
 
The Project Watershed Board of Directors believes that this should be an issue discussed during the fall campaign. Consequently during the first week in October, Project  Watershed invited or attempted to invite all of the candidates running to meet and discuss the issue.
 
To date  we have had replies /or and met with Jon Ambler (mayoral candidate) and Council candidates Doug Hillian, Bob Wells, David Frisch, Bill Anglin, Starr Winchester, Rebecca Lennox, George Knox, Eric Erickson, Stu MacInnis and Marcus Felgenhauer.  All agreed that this issue should be put on the table for consideration. What a great start!
 
We look forward to involving the entire Comox Valley in discussions related to restoring this site. What a legacy it would be for future generations.
Yours sincerely.

Paul Horgen

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

Restoring Tidal Marshes in Royston

A tidal marsh is a type of marsh that is found along the shoreline of coasts and estuaries of which the flooding characteristics are determined by the tidal movement of the adjacent estuary.  The vegetation on the shore is called a salt marsh and it is a complex of many salt tolerant plants.  The vegetation from the tide line out into the waters of the estuary is composed of a single flowering plant known as eelgrass.  Volunteers including three local candidates running for office in November have been working on the shoreline by the new Royston Seaside trail creating salt marsh benches.

This new park site, in the early part of the 20th century, was an area with extensive tidal marshes. As the first settlers began to log forests in the area rails ran along the shoreline on an artificial dyke and logs were transported and dumped into the estuary for movement to saw mills.  This activity went on for decades and caused major habitat damage to the estuarine ecosystems.

Photo 2

The sunken ships that can be seen off the estuary shore are known as the ‘Royston Wrecks’.  For years, these ships served to protect the shoreline against storm action and the scouring of the shore with logs in the water.

“All of the damaging industry is in our past, but now is the time to work together and restore habitat.  The amazing success so far is really encouraging”, commented Bob Wells, candidate for Courtenay Council. The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society has embarked on a major restoration project to re-establish the tidal marsh system lost during that time.  All of this is occurring along this new CVRD trail which will become a major destination in the Comox Valley for residents and tourists wanting seaside outdoor activity.

“I was very encouraged  with the enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers of Project Watershed for  this tidal marsh restoration effort ,”  stated Rebecca Lennox, candidate for Courtenay Council.

“We have restored almost 2000 m2 of eelgrass in the intertidal and sub tidal waters near the Wrecks and have just started the construction of three salt marsh benches which will occur over the next six months” reports Paul Horgen Chair of the Board.

Jim Gillis, running for Director of Area B in the Regional District, exclaimed that  “it was wonderful that a stewardship group like Project Watershed could secure over $100,000 in competitive funding to carry out these restorative activities on our new seaside trail.”

Image Credit:

  • Photo by Jennifer  Sutherst –  Rebecca Lennox and Technical Director Dan Bowen discussing the planing of salt tolerant species on the newly formed Royston salt marsh benches.

Climate change could increase estuary flooding

Image Credit: Contributed – In the spring of 2012, residents along the Dyke Road were evacuated by the RCMP due to flooding. This was how things looked in front of the old cement tower.

Contributed – Comox Valley Recordposted Oct 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Today’s coastal areas face an unprecedented challenge, struggling to cope and adapt in the midst of a changing climate.

In coastal areas, the consequences of climate change are already evident, with global sea-levels rising 10 to 25 cm over the last century. By 2100, this number is expected to increase anywhere from 0.5 to 1.4 meters above the 1990 level. Increased incidence and severity of coastal storms are also predicted to result from warming oceans and weather anomalies.

Coastal zones such as estuaries, are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise and enhanced storms, facing serious impacts including: (1) inundation and displacement of wetlands and lowlands; (2) increased coastal erosion; (3) increased coastal storm flooding; and (4) salination.

Flooding incidents

The last five years have been amongst the warmest ever recorded on earth.  In the Comox Valley we have had several flooding incidents and a few near disasters. Widespread human development and industrial activity over the last half century, a working saw mill, (log booming, etc.) further compromised the coastal system’s natural integrity, simultaneously augmenting erosion and forfeiting inherent resiliency.

Project Watershed and the Estuary Working Group has been focusing on shorelines and climate adaptation.  “Beginning this year, and for the next several years, we are going to focus on salt marsh shoreline areas,” commented Dan Bowen, technical director.  This, in conjunction with our intertidal and sub-tidal eelgrass restoration, provides shoreline protection (climate adaptation) and removes the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere.  “The basis of this protection is simple,” says Paul Horgen, board chair of Project Watershed.  “The eelgrass and salt marsh vegetation provides a physical barrier against surges.”

2010 warmest year

Including 2013, nine of the 10 warmest years in the 134 year period of record keeping have occurred in the 21st century. Only one year during the 20th century—1998—was warmer than 2013.  And 2010 was the warmest year on record.

What could this mean for the Comox Valley?  A completely logical conclusion would be more frequent incidents of flooding.  In which case we brace ourselves for more frequent events of the type observed in the winter of 2010 and spring of 2012 when residents along the Dyke Road were evacuated by the RCMP (see photo).

Co-operation and collaboration between governments whose jurisdiction includes our estuary seems like a logical part of a solution that should involve planning and uniform standards.  Governments and stewardship groups need to co-operate and work together.

Which candidates running for local governments will put this important issue high on their election platforms?

CVRecord-genericfeaturedimage

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!

Keeppage2014(small)

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.

View+From+Airpark

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.

Living Waters_web

Martha Ponting “Living Waters”

airpark66

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

Reaching-Up

Shirley Dickie ” Reaching Up”