Water use restricted on Koksilah River to protect fish populations

“The Province is restricting water use by select users on the Koksilah River to protect fish populations, which are under threat due to low water flows in the river.

The Koksilah River is located south of Duncan on Vancouver Island and supports significant aquatic ecosystems and fish species, including steelhead, coho salmon and trout. These fish populations are important to local First Nations and provide economic benefits.

Ministry biologists have determined that current flow levels are so low that habitat conditions are severely degraded and fish populations may be threatened. The flow of water in the Koksilah River has dropped below 180 litres per second (less than 2% of mean annual discharge) and may be trending downward.

From now until Sept. 30, 2019, specified licences that authorize water use directly from the Koksilah River and its tributaries, and users of wells in aquifers that are hydraulically connected to the river, must cease all diversion and use of water for industrial purposes and for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn.

Ministry staff will be conducting compliance checks in the Koksilah River watershed for the duration of the fish population protection order.

By restricting water use for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn, but allowing water use for stock watering and irrigation of perennial crops and vegetables, water flows should be restored to a level sufficient to maintain fish populations while minimizing effects on users, such as the agricultural sector.

Steps toward developing a water sustainability plan for the Koksilah River watershed are being taken, which is anticipated to help with overall water management in the area. In the event water flows recover to above 180 litres per second on a sustained basis following any significant precipitation events, the Province may revoke the order.”

 

Source: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0215-001616

Celebrating Water – Beer And Burger Fundraiser at Cow Bay Pub

Celebrating WATER- Rejoice together in the gift of Water and support The Work of The Cowichan Nature Centre, with an evening of songs, stories, and memories about Water- plus beer and burgers!

We’re gearing up for a busy fall season of nature education and restoration and need YOUR help.

Join us for a Beer & Burger fundraiser at the Cow Bay Pub featuring great food, a silent auction, fantastic live music from Paul Ruszel AND storytelling from local naturalists and nature lovers all in Celebration of WATER

Do you have a local Water story to share? It can be personal, epic or amusing, poem, song or story – email alicia@cowichanestuary.ca before September 20th and be included in the storytelling circle.

Don’t miss our silent auction featuring local art, gift certificates from local businesses, and more.

Tickets includes a burger (chicken, beef, or veggie), side of fries or salad, and a drink (domestic beer, wine, or cider).

$25 per ticket, available online, or at Volume One Books, the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre (1845 Cowichan Bay Road).

An evening of stories, music, a silent auction, and delicious food – all for a good cause! Hope to see you there!

All proceeds will support local nature education and restoration at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

This August 21st we are having an Open House BBQ for past, present and potential Volunteers. 

Ever considered helping guide students as they explore the shorelines, hand out binoculars to community members so they can watch Osprey nesting, participate in watershed restoration projects? Well, this August might be your chance to learn more about how to get started.

Invite is by RSVP, if you are interested in joining us for a Volunteer BBQ and learning about volunteering at the Nature Centre, email info@cowichanestuary.ca for details. 

Sign the petition and double protected areas across Canada and save wildlife now!

Sign the petition and double protected areas across Canada and save wildlife now!

Sign the petition to double protected areas across Canada and save wildlife now!

Help us support our allies at Nature Canada protect wildlife across Canada by Signing their Petition.

Sign the Petition HERE

“A new UN report says that unless we change, humans are driving close to 1 million species to extinction.

Canada has close to a quarter of the world’s wild forests and wetlands so has a critical role to play. Scientists say we have the potential to be a conservation superpower. But our track record is abysmal.

Currently, 89% of Canada’s nature is unprotected and half our monitored wildlife species are suffering severe population declines. Animals in trouble include the Polar Bear, the Piping Plover, the Southern Resident Orca, the Woodland Caribou and the Swift Fox.

Canadians care deeply for the health and well-being of wildlife and are passionate about protecting nature for the benefit of all life and future generations. We also support Indigenous-led conservation in these efforts.

It is time for the federal government to fulfill Canada’s commitment to double the amount of protected areas across Canada. Please join others in adding your name to the petition below asking for more protections for nature. Time is short.”

Water Conservation in the Koksilah Watershed – Responding to Climate Disruption

Salvaging salmon fry in the Koksilah River. (photo Genevieve Singleton)

On July 17th, the Nature Centre is partnering with the Cowichan Watershed Board to host an evening on Water Conservation in the increasingly drought challenged Koksilah Watershed. Join us for a solutions-focused community conversation from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Hub in Cowichan Station.

Sierra Robinson, Permaculture Teacher

Speakers Tom Rutherford, fish biologist and Watershed Board Executive Director, and David Slade, Watershed Board member and former President of the BC Groundwater Association, will be joined by 17-year old Sierra Robinson, permaculture teacher, farmer, film-maker and crew-lead for the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians. Together they will talk about the severe drought conditions in the watershed, the ongoing challenge of climate change and real, on-the-ground water conservation solutions.

“Water conservation is everybody’s responsibility,” says Rutherford, “While it’s easy to point fingers at the big agricultural users, we all have to step up.  We can all be better water stewards.”

A world-café style community conversation will follow the presentations to give residents a chance to share what water conservation efforts are working, what is worth trying and what kind of support is needed to better address the growing water challenges in the Koksilah.

During the evening local gardeners and hobby farmers in the Koksilah Watershed will also have a chance to apply to win one of six free permaculture water conservation garden audits on their property. These will be conducted by local permaculturists Jason Greenwood and Sierra Robinson in August. Those householders participating in garden audits will receive a report with specific water conservation recommendations for their property.

Permaculture is an ecological approach to gardening and food production and one of its most exciting aspects is its approach to water. Permaculture designers use landscape design to conserve and store water while building topsoil. Some permaculture projects have been so successful that they even recharge groundwater supplies.

One of the gardens selected for an audit will also be chosen for a Permaculture Blitz implementing water conservation solutions. This includes both design support from our permaculture experts and a day of hands-on help from a team of young volunteers to work on a water conservation garden transformation this fall.  The team will bring tools and willing hands. The property owner will cover the hard costs, such as the purchase of trees or shrubs.

 

Click HERE to enter to Win A Permaculture Water Conservation Audit

 

ENTER to WIN a FREE Permaculture Water Conservation Garden Audit on your property

ENTER TO WIN a FREE 

Permaculture Water Conservation Garden Audit on your property (Open to Gardeners and Hobby Farmers in the Koksilah Watershed)

Six lucky home owners will receive a water conservation audit of their property this August, 2019. From this group of 6, one homeowner will have the chance to transform their property this summer through a one day Water Conservation Permaculture Blitz.

These water conservation audits will be conducted by local permaculturists Jason Greenwood and Sierra Robinson in August. Those householders participating in garden audits will receive a report with specific water conservation recommendations for their property.

One of the gardens selected for an audit will also be chosen for a Permaculture Blitz implementing water conservation solutions. This includes both design support from our permaculture experts and a day of hands-on help from a team of young volunteers to work on a water conservation garden transformation this fall.  The team will bring tools and willing hands. The property owner will cover the hard costs, such as the purchase of trees or shrubs or drip irrigation materials.

Permaculture is an ecological approach to gardening and food production and one of its most exciting aspects is its approach to water. Permaculture designers use landscape design to conserve and store water while building topsoil. Some permaculture projects have been so successful that they even recharge groundwater supplies.

To complete the application please fill out the form below and submit to info@cowichanestuary.ca  Deadline for applications: Midnight July 31st!

For questions, email info@cowichanestuary.ca or call 250.597.2288

To confirm if you are in the Koksilah Watershed

Koksilah Watershed map

Koksilah Watershed map streets 1 of 2

Koksilah Watershed map streets 2 of 2

Application to Enter to Win A Permaculture Water Conservation Garden Audit

 

Thank you Rotary Club of Duncan for their amazing effort staining our building

It takes a village to maintain the Nature Centre, and all it’s programs, interpretive displays, fundraising and and and…

Which is why it was so wonderful to have the incredibly focused, dedicated energy of the Rotary Club of Duncan to come stain our building in a morning.

We are deeply grateful.

Some photos from the day!

We are hiring! Project Assistant, Part time, 24 month contract

We are hiring! Project Assistant, Part time, 24 month contract

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre (CENC) Project Assistant 

Hours:18 hours a week

Rate: $17/hr

Anticipated start date: As soon as possible

Contract: 24 months

 

Project Description: The “Conserving & Protecting Cowichan Fresh Water for a Climate Resilient Future” project is aimed at engaging youth and communities in the  Cowichan Valley to produce measurable results in conserving and protecting freshwater aquatic habitat and building climate resilience in the Cowichan and Koksilah Watersheds through leadership training, educational workshops, awareness-­raising activities, and effective hands­-on water conservation and restoration projects in the two watershed that converge at the Cowichan Estuary

Project Support Job Description: The CENC Project Assistant works under the direction and supervision of the CENC Coordinator and the CENC Board President. They will function as a key resource for the project’s success by means of working on project administration, program and workshop organization and support, co-coordination of conservation and restoration action days and tracking data to measure project success through evaluations and other metrics (including volunteer hours, areas of restoration work completed, survival of riparian plantings over two years, etc.). They will assist in overall project communications and outreach, and volunteer support.

Duties

  • Project-related CENC website (WordPress) updates.
  • Assist with communication and outreach, including creating event posters and other graphic communications, slide shows and reports.
  • Update media contacts, draft media releases, and track earned media.
  • Assist the coordinator in planning and implement action days and workshops.
  • Communicate with members and supporters via email using MailChimp & Sumac software.
  • Maintain information systems: monthly statistics, member,supporter and volunteer lists, and ensure data is entered into the database.
  • Assist with financial recordkeeping, and reporting pertaining to the project.
  • Maintain CENC supplies and equipment for the project.
  • Respond to phone calls, emails and general inquiries.
  • Assist the project education team as needed.
  • Assist with maintenance of CENC databases.
  • Communicate with project volunteers, ensure volunteer coverage for assistance with the project.
  • Assist with other Nature Centre activities and duties as needed and time is available.

Qualifications

  • Experience working in non-profit administration in either a volunteer or professional capacity.  Diploma in Office Administration or a related discipline an asset.
  • Education, or work experience relating to ecological restoration or citizen science, permaculture, marine/coastal ecosystems.
  • Experience working or volunteering in a non-profit environment.
  • Demonstrated organizational and planning skills, ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Flexibility, initiative, creativity and problem solving skills.
  • Proficiency with MS Office including Excel, Word, Access, Publisher and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to design and create simple and attractive posters and graphics.
  • Experience with online newsletter platforms such as MailChimp.
  • Experience with social media and online engagement.
  • Experience with donor management software, such as MS Dynamics, Salesforce, or Sumac.
  • Website experience, preferably on a WordPress platform.

 

How to Apply: Ensure that your resume shows how your skills and experiences apply to the qualifications (above). Please submit your resume, cover letter and references via email by 11:59pm on July 17, 2019

Email resume to Alicia Taylor at alicia@cowichanestuary.ca with subject heading: Project Assistant Application. Use this format for your resume filename: LastName_FirstName_Application_2019.

 

We thank all those who apply for their interest in our organization; only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

 

Project Assistant – Posting ECO Action

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