Say goodbye to the invasive yellow flag iris in the Somenos Marsh. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Somenos Marsh projects will root out invaders, improve storm runoff

“Invasive species are the second leading cause of plants and animals being listed as endangered.”

There will be an increase in activity this September at Somenos Marsh Conservation Area (SMCA) with new ecological projects underway thanks to the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society (SMWS) has been dedicated to ecological stewardship in the Cowichan Valley for more than 25 years and continue efforts with two upcoming ecological projects that will be noticeable to motorists and pedestrians passing by the conservation area next month.

The excavation of yellow flag iris, an invasive plant species near Somenos Open Air Classroom and boardwalk area is one of two projects funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada to ecologically restore several areas of the SMCA. The removal of invasive species, such as yellow flag iris improves biodiversity and ecosystem services helping local native species thrive.

“According to the IUCN, invasive species are the second leading cause of plants and animals being listed as endangered or becoming extinct. So we think it’s something that we need to be working on as a society,” said Elizabeth Bailey, program manager at the SMWS.

Along with the removal of invasive plants, the creation of stormwater treatment wetlands off Beverly Street is another major ecological project SMWS will be undertaking in September in partnership with North Cowichan. Constructed ponds on the site will treat stormwater runoff from neighbouring urban areas surrounding James Street before it enters salmon-bearing Somenos Creek. Stormwater management will improve wetland habitat at the Marsh to create a more diverse and attractive habitat for many different species.

Further highlighting the importance of these ecological restoration projects, multiple new populations of species at risk were discovered in the SMCA during project planning. Tall woolly heads and Vancouver Island beggarticks are two rare species recently found at SMCA thanks to the help of special projects and management of the Marsh’s ecosystem. There’s also work taking place on riparian area restoration along Somenos Creek as part of Somenos Creek Salmon Habitat Restoration Project.

Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is holding a number of upcoming volunteer community events. To learn more or get involved our volunteer events visit their Facebook page.

Just Posted

MP Alistair MacGregor column: Electoral reform proposals come in at 11th hour

The timing is unfortunate because there are some positive elements in the bill.

Robert Barron column: Goodbye to the best man I’ve ever known

Mondays were special because my dad was off on those days

VIDEO: Young QMS cast shines in ‘Giants in the Sky’ musical

Kids find that sometimes being brave is good, but you still need supportive friends

Andrea Rondeau column: The internet has changed how we cover breaking news

If there’s ever anything you think we’ve missed, please feel free to contact us and let us know.

Sarah Simpson column: My history with bees

My dad is allergic to bees.

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Most Read