On Friday June 12th, the Coastal Invasive Plant Species Committee held their spring forum and AGM at Vancouver Island’s University Deep Bay Marine Field Station. As Part of the AGM program, Doug DeMarzo (CVRD parks manager), Dan Bowen (Project Watershed board member) and Jennifer Sutherst (estuary co-ordinator) led a field trip to the Royston Seaside trail.
Over 40 participants enjoyed a field tour of the recently completed Royston Seaside trail and were given a short talk with on sight illustration of the three salt marsh berms constructed last fall and planted this spring by Jennifer Southeast. She discussed the past industrial history of the former log booming area and Project Watershed’s rationale for both the shoreline restorations and the intertidal and subtidal eelgrass restorations carried out in the same area. Technical Director Bowen explained the rationale for the berm design and pointed out how this design weathered one of the most severe winter storms this last December.
“This type of shoreline restoration provides a triple win – habitat for fish and wildlife, shoreline protection from storm surges, and the salt marsh plants contribute to carbon dioxide removal from the environment,” said Sutherst.
The Committee members from all over the province were impressed by the wonderful new walking trail, the interpretative signs on the trail and the design potential for other shoreline areas. June Pretzer, Conservation Program Manager for Stanley Park in Vancouver expressed an interest in replicating the salt marsh restoration that Project Watershed has done in our estuary to restore shoreline habitat in her local area.
“This is exactly the kind of community sharing our large Commission for Environmental Co-operation grant was hoping would develop,” said Paul Horgen, Project Watershed board chair.
The Committee is involved in Spartina patens eradication, and worked with Project Watershed to remove this invasive salt marsh species when the restoration work was undertaken at the site.