CAILA HOLBROOK AND Kathryn Claustin recently planted eelgrass in the Comox Estuary.

CAILA HOLBROOK AND Kathryn Claustin recently planted eelgrass in the Comox Estuary.

Project Watershed elects board

Paul Horgen was re-elected chairman of the board; he has been associated with the board for five years

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society’s new board of directors have been elected:

• Paul Horgen was re-elected chairman of the board.

He has been associated with the board for five years and along with board member Dan Bowen makes up the research –technical working group. Horgen is a retired biology professor from the University of Toronto.

His research was in microbial genetics and environmental microbiology. He has published over 140 scientific articles and has co-authored three books. He moved to the Comox Valley in 2005, and has served as science co-ordinator for Elder College.

He is also a member of the Vancouver Island CNIB board of directors and a member of the CNIB national research board.  Horgen also serves on the Area B Lazo North Area Planning Commission. Horgen is co-ordinating the team for the Blue Carbon Project in the estuary.

• Bill Heidrick was elected vice-chair and also co-ordinates the society’s outreach efforts.

Bill retired after 25 years working in the forest Industry. He moved on to serve eight years in local government, including four years as a director of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. He was a volunteer warden for the Zeballos River Estuary for many years and instrumental in forming the Zeballos Fish and Wildlife Association.

Bill’s outreach efforts involve the establishment of a new streamkeeper group and the shoreline cleanup. Bill also serves on the Estuary Working Group and represents Project Watershed on the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy Steering Committee.

• Don Castleden is chair of the society’s largest committee, the Estuary Working Group.

Don has been on the board of Project Watershed since 2000 and is past chair. Don became involved in environmental education in the mid-’90s when he was asked to develop a national First Nations training program in Environmental Impact Assessment after he had previously developed an award-winning program for First Nation managers in Community, Economic and Organization.

He proposed the Heart of the Watershed Symposium on the estuary in 2008, which proved to be a catalyst that has engaged individuals, organizations and local political leaders in a community wide effort to protect and restore this outstanding feature of the Comox Valley.

• Dan Bowen was born and raised in the Comox Valley, and has a passion for protecting the Valley’s flora and fauna from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the mountains. Dan worked for the Ministry of Transportation as an engineering assistant, overseeing numerous road construction projects on Vancouver Island.

In 2011, Dan became a director on the Project Watershed board. He, along with Paul Horgen, co-ordinates the research and technical activities of the society, with Bowen co-ordinating and managing the Puntledge projects and both coordinating the Estuary and Blue carbon projects. Dan also serves on the Estuary Working Group.

• Brian Storey was elected treasurer and is the newest member of the board of directors. Brian is a chartered accountant and was the business manager of the Edmonton Journal for 25 years before he became a self-employed professional accountant in 1996.

Since coming to the Comox Valley, Brian has been, and still is, involved with the Rotary Club of Courtenay and the Comox Valley ElderCollege.

Assisting the board are key staff:

• Caila Holbrook is estuary co-ordinator and mapping co-ordinator.

Caila has been with Project Watershed since November 2008. She has a masters in International Nature Conservation and a BSc in Environmental Science. She has been involved in environmental research, restoration and protection projects all over the world.

• Kathryn Clouston is the administration and outreach co-ordinator.

Kathryn has been volunteering with streamkeeping groups since her retirement from the air force in 2007. While doing this, she also spent a few years at North Island College improving her knowledge of biological systems with an Associate of Science in Biology degree.

• • •

The society welcomes new individuals with interest in environmental stewardship and public education and outreach. Interested parties can contact Paul Horgen at p.horgen@utoronto.ca or visit www.projectwatershed.ca for more information.

— Project Watershed

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