During the second and third week of July, Project Watershed carried out a sub-tidal eelgrass planting of approximately 1,000 square metres.
“This makes our total restorations to nearly 6,000 square metres since 2013,” said Paul Horgen, board chair.
Funding for this 2015 effort was through the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
There was a 2014/15 estuarine tidal marsh restoration and establishment of a kelp seeding site that were earlier phases of a plan to link saltmarsh, eelgrass and kelp habitats.
“This year, we focused on the sub-tidal planting underwater with the use of divers,” said Angela Spooner, head biologist managing the effort. “Project Watershed appreciates the commitment and expertise of UB Diving who have worked with our restoration team for the last three years. They have become so good in harvesting donor plants. We estimated 98 per cent accurate harvest counting and observed diligence in planting the bundles.”
“Many volunteers and professionals have committed to our estuary vision, but we would especially like to acknowledge the Comox Valley Harbour Authority as they have donated the dock space for the tying and they carried out a hole-in-one event during Nautical Days where the proceeds will be donated to Project Watershed,” said Kathryn Clouston, administration and outreach assistant.
“Tidal marsh restoration is part of rebuilding the salmon highway which was seriously damaged during the years of log booming and industrial activity in our estuary,” said Horgen.
“Considerable progress is being made.”