Protection Options with Map Labels
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Project IDProject TypeDescriptionRationaleOpportunitiesConstraintsPreliminary work requiredKey PeopleResources
E1Landowner ContactEco-neighbourhoodRaise awareness among estuary residents of their responsibilities to ensuring a healthy estuary and shoreline through a process that creates community-based stewardship with aspects of community accountabilityPamphlet/flyer on eco-neighbourhoods developed: Outlines what it means, what it is, people responsibilities in an eco-neighbourhood
E2involvement of farmers Farmers, especially those that operate on the estuary flood[plain, have the potential for huge impacts on estuary function, both positive and negative. Positive in that their land use prevents encroachment of higher impacting land uses to the area, and negative when their operation disturbs the estuarine ecosystems (ex land clearing, fertilizer use, water withdrawal). Therefore increasing their awareness of the estuary and their influences on it is of high importance.There is a Fish, Farm, and Forest Forum that brings together people of shared and sometimes conflicting views to help resolve issues around the environment and fish and farming industries. Since there is legislative powers that can limit farmers (and foresters) ability to carry out their business, there is an interest on their part to learn more about their responsibilities and prevent charges under the Fisheries Act.The Right to Farm Act helps to protect farmers interests, and sometimes comes into conflict with environmental protective measures such as riparian buffer protection. There is a history of conflict between environmental protection organizations and farmers, which can make it a challenge to come to a consensus for both farmers and conservation interests.Participate in, and encourage farmers participation in, the Fish , Farm and Forest forums as they come up.Estuary Working Group, other conservation organizations in the Comox Valley, farmers that operate in watersheds of the Courtenay River estuary, especially those located along the estuary floodplain.
E3School ProgramsBuild relationship with schoolsChildren in schools are future residents, business leaders, and politicians of the Comox Valley and other areas that also have estuaries. By helping to develop understanding and awareness in schoolchildren, the future health of the estuary will be better represented by them. In addition, teaching children also teaches the community, through their families and schools.Mix music and learning about the estuary through an "Estuary Ensemble" course in Schools. Local Conservation groups, elementary and high school educators.
E4Cultural ProgramsFish Trap RecreationThis is an educational endeavour for all participants, including the organizers. By re-creating the technology of an ancient fish traps in the estuary, people will learn about this ancient technology and gain appreciation for the historical importance of the salmon resource in culture and food. This will help foster greater stewardship through connecting culture, technology and biology.Partner with K'ómoks First Nations to build and operate a fish trap (link with National Heritage Site, option # LA7)This project will require special permits and support from various agencies to implement. Planning will need to ensure that any structures built in the estuary do not cause harm or death to fish and fish habitat. Any waste (eg nets) must be handled carefully so it is not left in the environment following the activity.Consultations and partnership building. Research into design and methodologies. Site selection. Public relations.K'ómoks First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, experts on ancient fish traps (i.e. KFN Traditional knowledge, Nancy Green)K'ómoks Traditional knowledge, Nancy Green. Fish collection permit processes.
E5Designation of the estuary as a National Historic SiteThe historic fish weirs are very extensive in this estuary, and are the main driver for achieving a heritage site designation. This designation would result in better protection and national/international awareness of the estuary. It could increase the economic value of the estuary in terms of the tourism dollars it would bring into the community. Possible goals could include the establishment of a museum, interpretative and research centre and the restoration of some of the fish traps. Opportunity to partner with the Economic Development Council.A heritage site designation could limit opportunities for restoration projects that may have an initial disturbance on the estuary, though are meant to restore and/or enhance estuary function. Obtain support from the K'ómoks First Nation, and write to the National Heritage Board.K'ómoks First Nation, Estuary Working Group, all levels of government.
General Public Education
Estuary Interpretative Centre Education of citizens and tourists, Increased eco-tourism and tourism dollars (dollar value of estuary more quantifiable for community)CVNS is interested in ethnobotany and is looking for legacy projects so they may be interested in being involved in this sort of idea. This centre could provide training and job possibilities for Comox Fist Nation people. Getting the Estuary recognized as a historical site would help build the profile of this centre. High costs and energy associated with acquiring appropriate land to do this (ideally near estuary), and to build.Identify support for this project through joint partnerships and dedication of money/resources. Clear identifications of goals and objectives. Conceptual ideas and committee dedicated to carry through with project once partnerships are established.K'ómoks First Nation, Estuary Working Group, local government.
E7EventsGala EveningEvents that engage the public will help to raise awareness of the estuary and how people can protect and restore it. Outcomes include building volunteer capacity, gaining revenue for project implementation through direct donations, purchases, and prizes, and increased awareness and support of other protection programs such as land acquisition, voluntary incentives and regulatory incentives, and increased support for restoration projects. Indirect outcomes may include citizen monitoring and reporting of issues in the estuary.Build on the past success of gala events by hosting one on a biannual basis.High organizational commitment, funding requirementsReview successes/problems associated with past events and organize based on these and on opportunities for ensuring the greatest success of anticipated outcomes. Have an organizing committee dedicated to delivery of Gala event.Estuary Working Group, Businesses (for donations), communityReports on past gala events, estuary projects recently complete or underway, "crowd draw-ers" (ex entertainers, artists), volunteers
E8WalkaboutHost regular "walkabouts" that identify key areas of interest for protection and restoration in the estuary to people that will support it in some capacity.Moderate organizational commitment and follow up essential (reporting of activities and results)Through regular EWG or other meetings, identify where there is a need for a walkabout, and key people to deliver and report on it.Various estuary stakeholders, Estuary Working GroupSites of high priority for restoration and protection
E9Shoreline event (shoreline cleanup)Join in on annual shoreline clean up events that occur across Canada, advertised and facilitated by Loblaw's Inc. "Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup ", based on the global shoreline cleanup event, the "International Coastal Cleanup". Will involve an organization committee to deal with volunteer recruitment, media, organization of locations and activities, and garbage disposal. Some expenses will apply.Register to become part of the national cleanup event at . Set up an organizing committee. 2010 shoreline clean-up took place in September.Stewardship groups, local government, community groups, Estuary Working GroupGreat Canadian Shoreline Cleanup website and resources
E10WorkshopsDeal with issues such as the invasive plant problem in the estuary by hosting workshops that teach community members how to identify the problem and deal with it/monitor it. Moderate organizational commitment and follow up essential (reporting of activities and results)Identify experts to teach workshops, areas/species to focus on for removal. Logistics (dates, locations, etc.)Estuary Working GroupCoastal Invasive Plant Committee, Ducks Unlimited (Jenine Bond), local experts (ex Michele Jones)
E11Awareness ForumOpportunity to bring together all of the various estuary programs in one place to achieve the goal of community involvement and awareness. Since projects change and develop from year to year, this could be an annual event that will help maintain and spark new interest in the estuary. It will also be an opportunity to bring together organizers and participants of the various programs and projects together in one place to share ideas and experiences. Participants, including politicians, can make official pledges at the forum to take action to protect and restore the CRE.High organizational commitmentReview successes/problems associated with past events and organize based on these and on opportunities for ensuring the greatest success of anticipated outcomes. Have an organizing committee dedicated to delivery of the Awareness forum.Estuary Working Group, Businesses (for donations), community
E12MediaKeeping It Living campaignThrough regular postings on the Keeping it Living website and media releases, the estuary can be kept in the radar of the public with relatively little effort. This helps to involve/inspire a broad spectrum of people through art and creative writing. Regular media releases of programs, projects, estuary art, creative writing and estuary facts.Moderate organizational commitment and follow up essential (reporting of activities and results)Already underway by Project Watershed. Continue to seek funding through agency and individual donations and grants to ensure programs are sustained.Project Watershed, Estuary Working GroupProject Watershed
E13VideosVisual education of the estuary and the programs out there to restore and protect it.Develop videos to be presented on social media websites (ex. you tube), on the Keeping it Living website, on Shaw TV, and at various public events.
E14WebsiteWebsite is a gateway for all of the projects and programs. Monitoring visits to the website provides a measure of interest in the estuary, which can be valuable when applying for funding.Continue to maintain existing "Keeping it Living" website, get feedback from users of the website, and keep it active and interesting with new postings and artwork.
E15MappingRegular updating of marine resource and features, tenure mapping, and plant communities.Mapping provides a method to identify restoration and protection needs, a visual educational tool, and a way to monitor impacts of development and evaluate the success of various conservation programs. It also is an effective way to present information essential for land use planning, and the designation of the estuary as a Wildlife Management Area and as a National Heritage Site.Project Watershed has established the Mapping Centre (MC) at the Stewardship Centre to provide community mapping services. The MC has up to date maps and has collected a wealth of information on estuarine habitats, development, streams, up to date aerial photos and other mapping resources that provide a foundation for future projects. Some mapping and inventory can be done by volunteers.Maintaining and updating maps requires consistent, reliable funding to maintain the overhead and staff, as well as the cost associated with collecting up to date information.Currently (2011), there are several gaps identified and prioritized for mapping requirements in the estuary. These include up to date shoreline vegetation maps, and detailed eelgrass bed mapping.Project Watershed Mapping Centre, Estuary Working GroupProject Watershed Mapping Centre, Community Mapping Network, CVRD's i-map
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