Children help collect fry from Cowichan River tributaries. (submitted)

Children help collect fry from Cowichan River tributaries. (submitted)

Honouring the Cowichan River: Be Kind

This is the first in a three-part collaborative series

We’ve all heard the advice this year to Be Kind, Be Calm, and Be Safe, but these wise words need not apply only to people. This is the first in a three-part collaborative series honouring the Cowichan River in lieu of annual river cleanup events. Join the authors in exploring a more complete perspective on public safety rooted in the Cowichan teaching that everything is interconnected, Mukw’ stem ‘o’ slhilhukw’tul.

By Ken Traynor

Beginning in 2009, a group of folks from the shores of Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan River, from the communities of Lake Cowichan, Honeymoon Bay, and Youbou, and others from Duncan, North Cowichan and even Victoria all got together in collaboration with Cowichan Tribes, to show their respect for our shared watershed.

It was essentially an act of kindness that created the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society to care for this great Canadian Heritage River and the lake at its source.

One of the key ways this group has expressed its care for our water ecosystems has been annual August river clean-up events in the upper and lower Cowichan River. But after 11 years of hauling tonnes of old appliances, tires, metal bits, bottles, cans, punctured tubes, needles and lots of litter out of the river, COVID-19 has shut down this year’s event. However, this does not mean we have to give up on showing our kindness for the Cowichan.

How can you Be Kind? Take your lead from the many river stewards throughout the region.

If you live on the river or at the lake go out and make sure your shoreline is clean and think about whether your riparian area needs some tender loving care with new plantings to protect the shore and provide key shoreline fish habitat.

Volunteer with a work party to remove invasive species or restore riparian habitats.

Join a fry rescue group, moving salmon fry trapped in the tributaries as they dry up.

Help monitor water quality all over the watershed.

Pack out garbage from the shores and pools of the river whenever you safely can.

If you are here to tube on the river please remember to show respect to other folks on the river and keep the noise down, lay off the drinking and pick up after yourselves.

If you come to the lake to boat please dial down your noise and speed as large boat wakes are a key source of shoreline erosion and wear and tear on docks and booms as well as undermining the enjoyment and safety of other lake users.

The allure of our beautiful Cowichan Valley with its wonderful lake and river are what draws us all here but it falls to everyone to “be kind to the river” to keep it that way.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Ken Traynor is the president of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society.

CommunityWater

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

The latest homeless count in the Valley found 129 in a 24-hour period. (File photo)
Latest homeless count reveals 129 in the Cowichan Valley

But local officials believe number is higher

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

An employee at Duncan’s Real Canadian Superstore has tested positive for COVID-19. (Don Bodger/Black Press)
More positive COVID-19 tests reported at Cowichan Superstore

Employees last worked on Feb. 12, 13 and 15.

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read