The Healthy Watersheds Initiative has released report on its community-led watershed restoration and stewardship projects.
More than 60 projects were launched over the last two years to restore riparian and wetland habitats, create spawning grounds for salmon.
There was also habitat and community resiliency against climate change events and higher sea levels.
The work created training and jobs for more than 12-hundred people, and spinoff benefits for local contractors, service providers, and businesses.
One of the Healthy Watershed Initiative projects was to restore the Gwa’dzi River Estuary near Port Hardy in partnership with the Kwakiutl First Nation. The work focused on enhancing fish and wildlife habitat while ensuring the estuary would be resilient to sea-level rise and climate change.
Among other projects was work in Courtenay to restore Kus-Kus-sum, the former sawmill site on the Courteny River to its original state as a saltmarsh and riverside forest.
Another was a partnership between Ducks Unlimited and K’omoks First Nation to restore water quality and spawning channels in Glen Urquhart Creek
In Campbell River, the Discovery Coast Greenways Land Trust and Wei Wai Kum Coastal Guardian Watchmen worked on restoration of riparian areas around Campbell River after increase use by the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Cowichan Valley, there was project to remove sediment in the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers. Cowichan Tribes did extensive work on rehabilitating the rivers by taking out sediment and restoring the habitat and several locations. In addition, side channels were excavated and reactivated.
Cowichan Tribes is also working with community partners on a study of options for water sustainability in the Koksilah River Watershed.
The Healthy Watersheds Initiative is administered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC.