Event Title

A restoration and climate change resiliency monitoring program for coastal BC estuaries

Presentation Abstract

The Englishman River estuary and associated habitats, on the south east coast of Vancouver Island, has long been recognized as an important and productive ecosystem, supporting more than 250 bird species, all seven species of Pacific salmon, forage fish, at-risk plant communities and many other fish and wildlife species. The estuary is located within the Parksville/Qualicum Wildlife Management Area and is managed through the collaborative efforts of several ENGOs and government agencies. Last year, 2017, marked the first-year of a five-year restoration and monitoring program which aims to re-establish natural estuarine circulation patterns and restore intertidal and upland marsh habitat. For more than 100 years the estuarine ecosystem has been altered and habitat destroyed through the construction of dykes, roads, sediment removal and filling, log boom storage, agriculture and the introduction of invasive species. These modifications caused changes to estuarine circulation patterns and morphology, habitat availability, ecological function and community composition. In July 2017, a berm from an abandoned road was removed, improving tidal flows to channels and marsh areas that were subject to restricted flow regimes for many years. The West Coast Conservation Land Management Program is leading a research consortium which is monitoring changes in channel morphology, water level, salinity patterns, vegetation distribution and composition, fish, bird and wildlife populations, and in 2018 a benthos monitoring component will be added. The Englishman study provides an opportunity to develop protocol for a BC coastal wide estuary monitoring program which will investigate response to environmental change and ecosystem resilience to climate change. This program is supported by The Nature Trust of BC, The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Conservation Foundation and stewardship groups.

Session Title

Posters: Monitoring: Species & Habitats

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-97

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

A restoration and climate change resiliency monitoring program for coastal BC estuaries

The Englishman River estuary and associated habitats, on the south east coast of Vancouver Island, has long been recognized as an important and productive ecosystem, supporting more than 250 bird species, all seven species of Pacific salmon, forage fish, at-risk plant communities and many other fish and wildlife species. The estuary is located within the Parksville/Qualicum Wildlife Management Area and is managed through the collaborative efforts of several ENGOs and government agencies. Last year, 2017, marked the first-year of a five-year restoration and monitoring program which aims to re-establish natural estuarine circulation patterns and restore intertidal and upland marsh habitat. For more than 100 years the estuarine ecosystem has been altered and habitat destroyed through the construction of dykes, roads, sediment removal and filling, log boom storage, agriculture and the introduction of invasive species. These modifications caused changes to estuarine circulation patterns and morphology, habitat availability, ecological function and community composition. In July 2017, a berm from an abandoned road was removed, improving tidal flows to channels and marsh areas that were subject to restricted flow regimes for many years. The West Coast Conservation Land Management Program is leading a research consortium which is monitoring changes in channel morphology, water level, salinity patterns, vegetation distribution and composition, fish, bird and wildlife populations, and in 2018 a benthos monitoring component will be added. The Englishman study provides an opportunity to develop protocol for a BC coastal wide estuary monitoring program which will investigate response to environmental change and ecosystem resilience to climate change. This program is supported by The Nature Trust of BC, The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Conservation Foundation and stewardship groups.