The information and resources provided in this section are intended to increase your knowledge, understanding and interest of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on west coast of Vancouver Island. People learn best in context, so come out and get your hands dirty. Wildlife stewardship is everyone's responsibility. Sign up for a workshop or training course or contact us to find out how you can get involved.
Central Westcoast Forest Society measures water quality to help identify and evaluate potential water contamination and its causes, and to evaluate the effectiveness of CWFS restoration efforts. It helps to improve our understanding of current stream conditions, to better direct future restoration efforts and to monitor and gauge the success of our projects.
Historically, salmon returned to the Pacific Northwest in such great numbers it was said one could walk across the water on the backs of the fish. Salmon are of spiritual, economic, and cultural importance to First Nations and non-aboriginal people in British Columbia. Yet, we have treated our salmon streams poorly.
Stream restoration cannot be completed without also restoring the riparian (stream side) habitat. Healthy creeks depend on large diameter trees which provide a living network of roots strong enough to withstand flooding, slow the movement of spawning gravel and provide stability to overhanging stream banks which shelter small fish.
A riparian area can be defined as: an area of land adjacent to a stream, river, lake, or wetland, containing vegetation that, due to the presence of water, is distinctly different from the vegetation of adjacent land areas.