Linda Safford of the Comox Valley Council of Canadians presents the 2017 Community Action Award to Paul Horgen, chair of Project Watershed. Submitted photo

Council recognizes Project Watershed

The 2017 Community Action Award was presented to Project Watershed at the Comox Valley Council of Canadians AGM.

This award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated progressive action in our community and promotes the values endorsed by the Council of Canadians. Recent recipients include Janet Fairbanks and Wayne Bradley, Walking with Our Sisters K’omoks, and activist Gwyn Frayne, posthumously.

A non-profit environmental society, Project Watershed’s mission is to ‘promote community stewardship of the Comox Valley watersheds through education, information and action.’

“In doing so, they are protecting our shared environment, our commons, for the public good and future generations,” chapter member Linda Safford said.

Bio-remediation to protect Baynes Sound, salmon studies and enhancement on the Puntledge River, eel grass restoration, salt-marsh construction, and the lagoon breech at the Airpark are a few of the initiatives Project Watershed has spearheaded over the past 24 years. Their latest undertaking, Kus-kus-sum, is one of the largest, most high-profile initiatives in local conservation history. It is a partnership with the K’omoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay to “unpave paradise” and restore the former Fields sawmill site on the Courtenay River to estuary saltmarsh and riverside forest. The name Kus-kus-sum honours an early First Nations village in that area.

“After more than a century of industrial service and decline in ecological function, we have the chance to live with this section of river in a way that’s better for everyone,” said Project Watershed chair Paul Horgen, who accepted the award on behalf the organization.

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