By Robin Harrison
Special to the Record
Millard Creek and its principal tributary, Piercy Creek, support small populations of coho, pink and chum salmon as well as cutthroat and rainbow trout. Fed by springs and wetlands to the west, the streams flow through rural and built-up urban areas, mainly in the city of Courtenay, on their way to the estuary. The cumulative effects of human development over many years have impacted the watershed thereby reducing the salmonid populations well below historical levels.
For more than 20 years, Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards have worked to help restore the watershed habitat to a more productive state. This has involved in-stream habitat enhancement, planting native vegetation, engaging with residents to encourage habitat-friendly activities and installing informational signage with the support of the City of Courtenay.
As part of their public outreach program, Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards are hosting a Family Watershed Day in Cousin’s Park, Courtenay from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The purpose is to engage with local residents to provide information on fish and other creatures inhabiting the watershed, the various projects MPWS undertakes and the importance of stream-side vegetation. There will be brief “field trips” to view Piercy Creek, which flows through Cousin’s Park, and the native plants growing in the riparian zone. There will also be demonstrations of the instruments used to test water quality within the watershed.
We are looking for comments and suggestions from the public to help guide our programs in the future, so there will be a questionnaire which we encourage attendees to fill out.
Millard and Piercy creeks are a precious resource that enhance the quality of life within the Comox Valley.
We encourage you to stop by Family Watershed Day on July 16 to learn more about the watershed and find out what you can do to help restore and maintain it to a healthy state.
Family Watershed Day is supported in part by a grant from Comox Valley Regional District.
Robin Harrison is the president of the Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards