Metchosin residents are going to get to the bottom of what’s in their ocean.
Metchosin council gave its OK to create a survey on shoreline habitats surrounding the district based on a sustainabiity report generated by an environmental advisory committee.
“Our coastline and marine waters are invisible. People don’t understand what’s under the water,” said Coun. Moralea Milne, who sits on the advisory committee. “We have about 45 to 50 kilometres of shoreline, mostly undisturbed.”
The survey plans to map and identify marine species that live in near-shore eelgrass beds or bull kelp forests, on the beach, or creatures that inhabit both worlds.
“(Eelgrass beds) are little nurseries for many fish species,” Milne said.
Milne has researched possible plants and animal life that could be on the coastline, but she would like experts in the field help with the project.
Council has approved the project, and now the environmental committee is looking into ways to begin the survey process using volunteers. “I am not sure how we are going to do that though. I don’t scuba dive,” Milne admits.
Once coastal marine information is collected, Milne said it can be used to monitor change in the district after an emergency, such as an oil spill.
“It will be used as a baseline of what is there right now,” Milne said.