The Craigflower Watershed includes Craigflower Creek

Looking upstream to clean up the Gorge

Habitat Acquisition Trust works to clean up Craigflower Watershed by focusing on areas upstream from the actual waterway

A new effort is being made to clean up the Gorge by focusing on areas upstream from the actual waterway.

Since the mid-1990s, most of the effort to clean up the Gorge has been focused on removing septic tanks leaching into the water.

Now the Habitat Acquisition Trust is promoting better water and runoff management for the creeks and watersheds that feed the Gorge.

“In the ‘70s and ‘80s it got quite a bad reputation for being a bit of a cesspool waterway,” land care co-ordinator Todd Carnahan said. “It is a swimmable place today as a result of all the community effort.”

A large portion of the Craigflower Watershed – roughly the area between Mount Work and Thetis Lake – drains into the Gorge and Portage Inlet. Carnahan said that with increased development there are increased diversions to waterways through ditching and storm drainage. Development leads to runoff, which then collects sediments and contaminants (such as oil from cars) and runs directly into the waterway instead of being absorbed and filtered by plants and soil.

“They act like a kidney, filtering out the water before it gets into the main stem,” Carnahan said. “We really have to do something now because it’s a bit of a bottleneck as a result of development.”

His group’s Good Neighbours project is working with homeowners to make their properties more water friendly.

One thing homeowners can do is plant more native vegetation rather than expanding their lawn.

In some circumstances, even disconnecting a down spout from the home’s gutters and redirecting water into forest soils is more environmentally friendly than having it go straight into storm drains.

“These are the people that I’m trying to reach, the ones that are upstream of the Gorge, that can actually have an influence on water quality,” Carnahan said. “We’d be very interested in hearing from folks that live in the Craigflower area and would like to learn more about their property.”

A consultation from the Habitat Acquisition Trust’s Good Neighbours program is free, confidential and non-binding. The group will help with landscaping tips that are both beneficial for the homeowner and the environment.

“We can provide a vision for people as a goal for their land management strategy,” Carnahan said. “If we can appeal to people’s desires and wants then we’re also going to have the result of improved water quality for all those other residents of the watershed.”

For more information, visit hat.bc.ca or call Carnahan at 250-995-2428.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read