Youths restore Cowichan estuary

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre will be engaging youth to restore plant habitat in the Cowichan and Koksilah Watersheds like this youth group who participated in a restoration project in the Cowichan Estuary’s salt marsh this Spring.

News Release
June 25, 2019


Three volunteer-led projects to provide education, habitat monitoring and restoration

VANCOUVER – Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $7,400 for three wild salmon restoration projects in Duncan this summer. The funds came from the Foundation’s Community Salmon Program and were underwritten by Mosaic Forest Management, the timberland manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands.

“The volunteers and First Nations groups we support in Duncan have worked tirelessly to restore and protect the Cowichan and Koksilah – two important salmon rivers,” said Michael Meneer, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Both watersheds support Chinook, Coho, Chum, Steelhead and Cutthroat trout, along with numerous species of wildlife. But, like many other salmon watersheds, climate change is posing an increasing challenge to salmon there.”

The Cowichan and Koksilah Watersheds, and the estuary where they meet, are experiencing more and more frequent droughts intensified by our changing climate.

“Droughts can now stretch from the spring into fall, resulting in longer periods of reduced water flows, higher water temperatures, and more frequent stranding of salmon fry in pools cut off from their rivers,” said Jane Kilthei, a volunteer with the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Kilthei is leading efforts on a project this summer to restore river-side plant habitat with support from the Foundation and Mosaic.

Adds Kilthei “We’re bringing teams of young people together, supported by restoration biologists and local volunteers, to restore plant habitat in both watersheds.  The restoration work will provide increased shade, cooler waters, help stabilize banks and support food sources throughout their life-cycles in the rivers. It will also give local youth an opportunity to make a concrete difference while gaining teambuilding and leadership skills.”

“Community-based groups, like the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre are undertaking highly effective salmon conservation and habitat rehabilitation work. Together with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, we’re proud to support these groups to improve the health and vitality of our rivers and forests,” said Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of Mosaic Forest Management, which has contributed more than $1 million over the past two decades for salmon habitat conservation projects on Vancouver Island.

Two other projects in Duncan also received funding:

  • The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society is collaborating with Cowichan Tribes to monitor water quality for salmon in Somenos Lake and Somenos Creek; and
  • Students from Quamichan Secondary will participate in the Stream to Sea education program raising salmon from egg to fry stage in classroom aquariums, and then releasing them into nearby streams.

The funds were part of $1.3 Million in grants awarded to 152 projects in British Columbia and the Yukon. The total value of these projects including matching donations of in-kind and cash at the community level was $9.7 Million. The Community Salmon Program is largely supported through fees from the Salmon Conservation Stamp which is affixed to tidal fishing licenses and required to retain Pacific salmon species in B.C.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation receives 100% of Stamp proceeds to redistribute as grants to community groups which are added to donations from businesses and individuals, and proceeds from fundraising dinners. Mosaic is a major funder of the program and recently expanded its commitment with a multi-year commitment of $330,000 over three years.





Elayne Sun
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Office: 604 664 7664 ext. 123
Cell: 604 340 6940

Jane Kilthei
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

Karen Brandt
Mosaic Forest Management


About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:

Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific Salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources and by supporting local communities. www.psf.ca

About Mosaic Forest Management Corp:

In November 2018, TimberWest and Island Timberlands affiliated under the management of Mosaic Forest Management Corp. to pursue a range of economic, social and environmental benefits. The affiliated companies have operated on Vancouver Island for over a century, delivering sustainable forest management within their private forest lands and Crown tenure areas.  Mosaic directly employs a talented team working with an exceptional group of contractors to serve our valued customers and work towards the best sustainability outcomes from the working forest.


Media Contacts

For media inquiries contact:
Pacific Salmon Foundation 
Elayne Sun 
Manager, Communications and Marketing