Sea Level Rise & the Shoreline – Still space to register for FREE Workshop – Sat, Dec 2nd, 9-5pm

There are still a few spots left in this Saturday’s Free Sea Level Rise and the Shoreline workshop led by local environmental restoration ecologist David Polster – 9-5 at the Nature Centre. A great opportunity to learn more about building local resilience. Opportunity for hands-on follow-up on Sunday. To register email or call 250.597.2288

Western Stevedoring – Donor Recognition

We are pleased to recognize Western Stevedoring’s recent donation of $400 to support marine education and outreach at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre!  This corporate donation will go toward a new freshwater aquarium at the Centre which will be home to our Coho fry as a part of our “Salmon in the Classroom Program” in 2018.

Nature Centre Volunteer Connie Harris takes her kayak through the newly breached causeway to help salmon move in the estuary.

Terminal Manager Rob James and his team at Western Stevedoring in Cowichan Bay are experienced hands-on contributors to environmental education and restoration in the Cowichan Estuary. They’ve worked in partnership with the Cowichan Estuary Restoration and Conservation Association, Cowichan Tribes, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and other local industries like Pacific Industrial Marine, to breach the causeway in the estuary and help young salmon more easily find their way to protection and nourishment in the estuary’s eelgrass meadows on their journey to the sea.

Removing derelict vessels from the estuary

This past June Western Stevedoring also joined Brian Thacker and his crew at Pacific Industrial Marine, plus a team from Western Forest Products, to remove derelict boats from the estuary that posed a risk to the environment. These three local companies shared the cost —estimated at between $40,000 and $50,000 — of removing six derelict boats from the Bay. A helicopter lifted two wrecks from the water, where it was too shallow to tow the vessels without damaging the estuary, and four boats were towed to the Western Stevedoring terminal dock and lifted out the water with a crane in preparation for dismantling.

Many thanks Western Stevedoring!

Feel Good Fridays – Nov 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th – Hands-on ecological restoration

Do you want to contribute directly to some great ecosystem climate adaptation work happening in Cowichan Valley? This November, join the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, Somenos Marsh Society, and the Cowichan Land Trust for FOUR Fridays of hands-on habitat restoration!
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All events are 11am-2pm and include treats! 🙂 Please bring work gloves if you have them, wear waterproof boots and dress for the weather.
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Friday Nov 4: Hecate Park Beach: Build a resilient shoreline PART 1
Hecate Park, 1845 Cowichan Bay Road
Friday Nov 10: Bings Creek: Prevent flooding and provide shade for salmon
Meet at 2907 Philips Street
Friday Nov 17: Hecate Park Beach: Build a resilient shoreline PART 2
Hecate Park, 1845 Cowichan Bay Road
Friday Nov 24: Somenos Marsh: Restore habitat for wetland wildlife
Meet at Beverly St and York Rd

“The Messenger” – a film about songbirds, their message & their vulnerability – Thurs, Oct 12th, 7pm

This Thursday October 12th at 7 pm we’re showing the award-winning documentary film “The Messenger”, Su Rynard’s visionary film about our deep-seated connection to songbirds and threat that human activity poses to their survival, at the Nature Centre as a part of the month-long WildWings Nature & Arts Festival.  Doors open at 6:30

This is a film for anyone who cares about the environment and nature. It’s not only an opportunity to see an amazing award-winning film (especially if you missed last year’s showing at VIU) but also to talk together about constructive local action and ongoing local successes in restoring song bird habitat and song bird recovery.

The Nature Centre film screening will be followed by a Q and A discussion with local naturalists.

Since its world premiere in 2015 at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has wowed audiences the world over at more than 30 international film festivals, receiving numerous awards, including The Best Conservation Program from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Best of Fest and Best Theatrical Feature, International Wildlife Film Festival plus a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Cinematography in a Feature Documentary and the Ontario Nature’s Carl Nunn Media Impact Award.

Shot in Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the USA, The Messenger is an international story with high stakes global consequences. The film looks at the connection between the decline of songbirds and human activity and what that could means for our already fragile ecosystem, leaving us with the questions: Does the uncertain fate of songbirds mirror our own? and.. What can we do to respond?

Your donations to support the education and conservation work of the Estuary Nature Centre at our location in an Internationally recognized “Important Bird Area”, one of 12,000 IBAs recognized by BirdLife International world-wide, are much appreciated!

Kerrie Talbot – Volunteer of the Month

Come by the Estuary Nature Centre on Thursday afternoons and long-time volunteer Kerrie Talbot will be there to greet you and show you around.  A life-long valley resident, guardian of the Great Blue Heron colony in the ravine just across the road from the Centre, and local Park’s Commission chair, Kerrie has lots of local knowledge to share. Kerrie, a retired children’s librarian, also hosts 4-weeks of stories, songs and games for preschoolers every Spring and Fall. Stay-tuned for her Thursday morning offerings this coming November.  Thank-you Kerrie! We are grateful for all that you do for children and nature education in the estuary!

TimberWest – Donor Recognition

TimberWest recently donated $2,500 to support education and outreach at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre!  $1,000 of this corporate donation will go toward creating educational workshop packages, displays and interpretive programs for children, youth and adults as a part of the Centre’s Adapting to Climate Change Project this year.

Domenico Iannidinardo, VP of Sustainability and Chief Forester for TimberWest, told us: “We’re happy to help the Land Trust and the Nature Centre instill a greater understanding of the importance of estuary wetlands and the ecological services they provide. It’s great to see this project taking place in the Cowichan Valley, reaching out to the community and helping community members and land owners learn about effective ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change and get hands-on experience participating in the Nature Centre’s volunteer action days.”

TimberWest has also been a long-time supporter of and partner with the Land Trust and Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, most recently on our shoreline restoration work.

Many thanks TimberWest!

“Wisdom of the River” – a film by Harold Joe – Sept 26th, 7pm

This coming Tuesday, September 26th at 7 pm we are pleased to host local filmmaker Harold Joe for this showing of his film “Wisdom of the River” at the Estuary Nature Centre. This is in the lead-up to the Quw’utsun Cowichan Heritage River Celebration on September 30th where Harold will also be sharing his knowledge.

Harold will be available after the film to answer your questions and talk more about the Quw’utsun River, what it means to the Quw’utsun People and the making of the film.

By donation.

Harold Joe spear fishing

The Nature Centre’s New Coordinator

We are pleased to welcome Haley Guest as the Estuary Nature Centre’s new Coordinator. Over the next ten months Haley will be taking a lead role in coordinating our Eco-Action Project: Adapting to Climate Change: Community Workshops and Volunteer Restoration Action Days in and around the estuary.  She’s keen to get to know our community partners in this work and to support and grow our volunteers who are the backbone of the Centre. She’s now our go-to person if you are interested in volunteering or otherwise supporting the Nature Centre’s work.

Haley has a solid background in environmental education, including a degree in Environmental Science and Ecology from Dalhousie University. She is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads. Haley comes to us with years of volunteer and event coordination experience, and a passion to contribute to community resilience. For the past four years she has worked at Dalhousie leading an ocean literacy research project and coordinating the development of the innovative education program ‘Ocean School’, while also working as the Marine Conservation Biology Lab Manager.

Haley is keen to dive into the climate adaptation project saying, “The shoreline and eelgrass restoration work really interests me; I believe that time spent restoring natural spaces can empower people to feel a sense of agency and a greater connection with their human and non-human communities – building both ecological and community resilience.”

Welcome aboard Haley!

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