Group rallies to protect watershed

Monday, November 7, 2011 – 6:36 PM
By Kristin Woodhouse
897 SunFM News

Group rallies to protect watershed on Vancouver Island.

A group aiming to protect the Cowichan watershed could be making headway.

Rodger Hunter is a co-chair of the Cowichan Watershed Board, a consortium working to protect the 930 km2 of habitat home to salmon and other fish, as well as birds.

He said they have just applied to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities for $375,000 to help improve the quality of the water.

“If we get that, then we’ll do a lot of work on water quality – probably devote almost $100,000 dollars to working on the water quality within the watershed. We’ll devote almost $90,000 to really getting a handle on the ground water resource.”

He said they want to repair some of the habitat that’s been damaged, one area of concern is in Cowichan Bay. A goal of the board is to make it safe to harvest the clams in the bay, which hasn’t been possible for about 40 years.

“The public health folks were talking about the levels of bacteria and things like that in the water, and it all links up, of course, to being able to eat the clams by 2020 target, those clam beds have been closed since the early 1970’s.”

Several groups are a part of the Cowichan Watershed Board, including the Cowichan Tribes, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Ministry of the Environment.

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