We are hiring a Restoration Coordinator/Educator!


Are you experienced in restoration and teaching children and youth in grades 5-12 and beyond? We are looking for an inspiring Restoration Coordinator/Educator to join our team! Join us and get a chance to delve into an amazing community doing great work here in the Cowichan Valley.

Job Title: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Restoration Coordinator/Educator

Hours: 18 hours a week (can vary from week to week)

The restoration season tends to be Sept-Oct and February-May with school programming in development for November and March See:  http://www.cowichanestuary.ca/programs/school-programs/

Rate: starting $20/hr.

Start Date: September 2021 (2022 funding for this contract position is dependent on grant applications in process)

Program Description: Our “Youth Watershed Conservation and Restoration Program for a Climate Resilient Future” engages youth in the  Cowichan Valley in learning about conserving and protecting local watersheds and building climate resilience in the Cowichan Valley through hands-on riparian restoration, school programs, leadership training, educational workshops, awareness-­raising activities, and effective hands­-on water conservation and restoration projects especially focused on the Cowichan and Koksilah Watersheds that converge at the Cowichan Estuary.  Program for upper grades includes monitoring the success of plantings to see measurable results.

Job Description: The CENC Restoration Education Coordinator will create on-the-ground conservation and restoration programs working in collaboration with CVRD Parks and local conservation partners, deliver school programs, community workshops and water conservation and restoration action days, do program communications and outreach, support students and volunteers, and track data to measure project success.  This program is flexible, with room for creativity and to make it your own!

For the full job description click Restoration Coordinator/Educator Job Description 2021

How to Apply: 

Email your resume and references to Amy Clinton-Baker (coordinator) at amy@cowichanestuary.ca with subject heading: Nature Centre Educator 2021. Applications close midnight September 30th.

Thank all those who apply for your interest in our organization!

Restoration Workshop with Dave Polster

Do you want to help restore wild spaces? To feel a part of nature, your community and make a difference? Join us for a 1.5 day workshop.







Workshop Details:


Day 1 online, using Zoom, focusing on theory (1-5pm) *sounds long but Dave’s presentation is very engaging and there will be a break midway through!*

Day 2 will be spent in the field  (9-3pm)

ALL AGES. minors 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

This is a 1.5 day workshop to learn and refine skills in the field of Ecological Restoration. By renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment we will work as a group to learn the skills and transfer them into key techniques out in the field.

The goal is to bring together people who are already working in the field of restoration or are excited to learn more about it. No experience is necessary for this course.

The first day will be spent on Zoom setting the context. The second day we will travel to a field site (likely Stoltz Bluffs – but TBD) and take part in learning some key bioengineering techniques to enhance the success of restoration projects.

Our teacher, David Polster, is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. He has authored numerous papers and teaches graduate level courses on these topics.


Cost: $89 per person (includes Dave’s restoration workbook)



Honouring Eric Marshall’s 90th Birthday!

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is proud to honour Eric Marshall in the event of his 90th birthday!

We are hosting a drop-in birthday “party” at the Nature Centre to celebrate a lifetime of dedication to nature and community. Come and drop by to speak with Eric and Dorothy, view a slideshow of images from his adventures and community work and tour the Nature Centre.

In lieu of gifts Eric is asking that you consider making a donation to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Click the link below to be redirected to our Canada Helps donation Page.  On behalf of Eric and the Nature Centre, thank you for your donation.

Donate to Eric’s 90th Restoration and Nature Education Fund

We look forward to seeing you here!



Eelgrass Restoration – New Dates: September 27th- 30th

Eelgrass Restoration Underway in Cowichan Bay – September 27th to 30th


Cowichan Tribes, with support from the federal Coastal Restoration Fund, has teamed up with Sea Change Marine Conservation Society and the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre to re-plant eelgrass in the Cowichan Estuary for a third year.  Eelgrass restoration is overseen by a team of eelgrass aficionados from SeaChange. They will work with SCUBA divers and community volunteers to replant the northern area of the estuary. If all goes well, salmon will have an expanded meadow to find shelter and food as they leave the river system or return home.

“For many years the northern side of the estuary has been lacking eelgrass while the southern side near Hecate Park has continued to thrive” said Chief Seymour of the Cowichan Tribes. “In historic times the elders tell of fields of eelgrass across the whole estuary where they raked crabs and harvested seafood. When the tide was out the table was set”.             

The Estuary Project including eelgrass restoration is a component of a larger CRF award of $2.7M for 5 years of restoration work on three different projects (Estuary Restoration, Riparian Restoration and Stoltz Sediment Remediation). During the first two years of the Estuary Project, Cowichan Tribes and Industry partners focused on completed a second breach of the WestCan Terminal Causeway and historic railway to reconnect the Cowichan River to the southern side of the estuary.  Studies were also completed to narrow down limiting factors to eelgrass growth in the estuary and to identify suitable areas to try replanting.  In 2019, we collectively transplanted 5,000 shoots. This year we are aiming for 6,000. The shoots are harvested from the southern end of the bay, which continues to do well.

Replanting will take place from September 27th to 30th

Volunteers are needed to tie weights onto the eelgrass donor plants to ready them for the divers to restore the estuary.  We will meet at Hecate Park for 2 hour shifts, beginning at 9:30 am daily. We will follow a Safety Plan to keep everyone safe and comfortable.

For more information and to sign up, contact Nikki Wright (SeaChange): 250 652-1662 or email: nikki@seachangelife.org


2020 Youth Leadership and Team Building Training

2020 Youth Leadership and Team Building Training

We’re hosting our annual Youth Leadership Training, an interactive experiential workshop focusing on inclusion, diversity and shared leadership for youth, online this year. The training will start the evening of Friday May 8th from 6 – 8 pm, and continue Saturday, May 9th from 9 am – noon and 1- 4 pm and take place via Zoom which allows us to break into pairs and small groups.  There will also be breaks to eat lunch and spend some time outside in nature.

Led by Leadership and Engagement Organizing Facilitator Peter Gibbs, who has tons of both in-person and on-line facilitation experience working with young people, budding change-makers will have lots of opportunities to learn and practice leadership and team building skills.

The cost is $15 and we have bursaries available.  Just tell us why you’d like to attend.

The day will honour First Nations perspectives and offers opportunities to learn about how:

  • our stories tap into shared values, connect us in relationships and create positive change;
  • to build a team to create social and environmental change; and
  • to create a “Theory of Change” and take it out into the world.

It’s going to be an amazing interactive learning-filled day!

There will also be post-workshop opportunities for youth to be out in nature and put their leadership and team building skills into action on water conservation and hands-on watershed restoration projects in the Cowichan and Koksilah Watershed – and to get volunteer credits for school once we are able to gather again.

How to Register

Time: Friday, 6-8 pm and Saturday, 9 am-noon and 1-4 pm

Cost: $15 per person. We don’t want cost to keep young people from attending. We have bursaries available for those in need.

Email admin@cowichanestuary.ca and let us know if you need a bursary.

Register via eventbrite here

100 Men Who Care Donation!

A Big Win for Environmental Education!

100 Men Who Care Cowichan Valley have donated $11, 261 to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre!

100 Men Who Care Cowichan Valley are an organization of men who meet quarterly to socialize, learn about local needs, and provide pooled funding to selected charities.

As proud recipients of their donation of $11, 261 the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre has many plans to put to good use these generously donated funds.

The Nature Centre’s mission is to engage the public – especially children and youths – in understanding natural systems and to foster stewardship.  We have a saltwater touch tank, watershed model, microscopes birdwatching telescope, and more.  Over 5000 visitors a year walk through the doors. Funds made available to 100 Men Who Care will be used to look after our vibrant Nature Centre, improve information displays and create new and exciting interactive displays and media.

In the spring and fall of 2019 over 1000 students came with their classes to the Centre for science-oriented programs and about 100 children came to summer day camps.  The Centre aims to double its hands-on watershed restoration work this coming spring, summer, and fall.  Transportation funding will enable more of these experiences, especially for students from low-income neighbourhoods. Funds to provide partial or full scholarship for students or youth in need will be used to expand our environmental outreach to those groups of society who are otherwise unable to take part in our programming due to the simple barrier of cost.

A massive thank you to 100 Men Who Care! You have each made a difference for children and nature in the Cowichan Valley!

Spring Break Restoration Camp – Cancelled

Spring Break Watershed Restoration Camp – Mar 19th & 20th – Cancelled


We are sad to announce that the Restoration March Break Camp scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 19th and 20th, is now CANCELLED, consistent with increasing Corona virus health advisories.

Saturday’s World Planting Day on the lower Cowichan River is also CANCELLED.  We have made these decisions in consultation with our leader team and our restoration partner, the BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF).

We are looking forward to rescheduling the restoration camp on a weekend in June (watch for dates)  and will be working with BCCF and the Earth Guardians – Cowichan Valley to reschedule the World Planting/Restoration Day on the same beautiful site on the North Arm of  Cowichan River in the late spring or early summer, when we hope that our contribution to “flattening the curve of the Corona Virus” will again be allowing us to gather together in nature.

Stay tunes for these upcoming events – there will be opportunities for children and youth to get outdoors, soak up the beauty and joy of nature, and make a difference in the Cowichan Watershed by putting on their gloves and boots and getting to work with our education team, restoration biologist David Polster at Stoltz Bluff, and with BCCF biologist Danny Swainson where the North Arm of the Cowichan meets the Estuary.

Participants will learn about and explore native vegetation, river ecology and learn about planting native species and about the process of “live-staking” for restoring watersheds.  Children and youth will come home with new skills and inspired by nature and their experience of working together to restore a natural ecosystem!  It will happen!  And in the meantime wash you hands and take care of each other.

Questions?  Contact sierra@cowichanestuary.ca. Or phone:  250-597-2288

Welcome new interim- coordinator, Amy!

We would like to warmly introduce and welcome our new interim – coordinator who will be helping to look after the Nature Centre in the coming months as Alicia Taylor commences her maternity leave.

A few words from Amy:

Hello to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre community. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you all. I have recently joined the Nature Centre team as the interim coordinator. Thank you for the lovely welcome I have received so far! As someone who feels passionate about the Cowichan Valley and Estuary, I am eager to learn all I can about its history, people and environment.

I look forward to learning from all of our volunteers and educators and helping to coordinate all of the wonderful events, camps and educational programs we will offer during the upcoming year.  Thank you for your patience with me as I take in the vast array of outreach programming that we offer!






Please feel free to contact Amy at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Center at:



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