Island watershed projects receive funding from provincial government

The provincial government is funding four major watershed restoration projects on Vancouver Island worth nearly $2.3 million and creating about 100 jobs.

The Central Westcoast Forest Society will get a $1-million grant for its Clayoquot Sound watershed recovery initiative to implement bioengineering approaches to reduce erosion and restore critical salmon habitat.

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The project involves working with First Nations and will provide at least 25 jobs.

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is receiving $700,000 for its Kus Kus Sum Estuary restoration. In partnership with K’omoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay, the society is dismantling and restoring a former sawmill site on the Courtenay River to its native estuary saltmarsh and riverside forest.

Restoration is expected to benefit nine fish species, 145 bird species and 281 plant species. The first phase of this project will support at least 40 jobs.

Discovery Coast Greenways Land Trust will use a $378,000 grant to restore and protect natural areas within Campbell River’s watersheds, particularly in riparian areas that have been heavily impacted by increased human use during the pandemic. The project will also support the development of an ecological restoration plan for the Baikie Island Nature Reserve and surrounding Crown land. At least 10 jobs will be created.

Islands Trust is getting $190,000 in funding to develop a freshwater sustainability strategy. It will create at least 16 jobs, and includes restoration work in protected areas on Salt Spring Island.

The province is investing $27 million in watershed initiatives and wetlands projects across British Columbia through the Healthy Watersheds Initiative.

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