Gathered around the Keeping it Living Award are (from left to right) - Project Watershed Board member Don Castleden, Morrison Creek Streamkeepers Kathryn Clouston, Piet Rutgers of the Comox Valley Land Trust, and Project Watershed estuary co-ordinator Jennifer Sutherst. Photo by Isadora Datt

Gathered around the Keeping it Living Award are (from left to right) - Project Watershed Board member Don Castleden, Morrison Creek Streamkeepers Kathryn Clouston, Piet Rutgers of the Comox Valley Land Trust, and Project Watershed estuary co-ordinator Jennifer Sutherst. Photo by Isadora Datt

Two Comox Valley groups share annual Project Watershed award

Keep It Living Award given to Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust

The Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust were recently honoured as recipients of Project Watershed’s annual ‘Keeping it Living’ award.

The award, an original painting by local artist Bev Byerley, is presented to an organization in the Comox Valley that has made a significant contribution to the restoration and protection of the K’ómoks Estuary and its watersheds. In the past year, the Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust worked together to fundraise and acquire a private land parcel in the Morrison Creek headwaters. The purchase of the property was a first step toward protecting the entire Morrison Creek headwaters area. The Morrison Creek headwaters is a wilderness oasis that provides habitat for a remarkable diversity of wildlife including wide-ranging carnivores, robust salmon runs and the endangered Morrison Creek lamprey – a population found only in the Morrison Creek and no other place on earth.

The preservation of the Morrison Creek headwaters, one of the last undeveloped areas of wilderness in the Valley, will contribute greatly to the long-term health of the K’ómoks Estuary, as it is one of the major river systems that drains into the Puntledge River and then into the estuary.

“Morrison Creek Streamkeepers are honoured to be the co-recipients of the 2019 Keeping It Living Award,” said Jan Gemmell, president of the Morrison Creek Streamkeepers. “We are very fortunate to have worked with the Comox Valley Land Trust to secure the Morrison creek Headwaters Nature Preserve. Together with Comox Valley Regional District and other funders, both large and small, a vital section of Morrison Creek, and the land surrounding it will continue to provide a natural bounty.”

“The effort to protect and restore the remaining parts of our natural heritage has been led by numerous individuals and environmentally-minded community groups,” added Comox Valley Land Trust president Piet Rutgers. “The partnership of the Comox Valley Land Trust and Morrison Streamkeepers Society in securing Phase 1 of the Morrison Headwaters Nature Preserve is a great example of the co-operative spirit that permeates the environmental community.”

Since 2010, the Keeping it Living Award has been given to an individual or organization that has provided a significant direct or indirect tangible contribution to the restoration and protection of the estuary.

Community LeadershipComox Valley Regional District

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