September 2018: Arbutus Cove Shoreline Cleanup
A group of students got out to pick up litter from a local beach.
November 2018: Gaining Legal rights for the Salish Sea
Students at the University of Victoria had a discussions with expert Kriss Kevorkian, who shared what gaining legal rights of nature for the Salish Sea would entail, and how this could help protect the endangered southern resident orcas!
January 2019: Bake Sale
We were so happy to hear about the birth of the newest Southern Resident Killer Whale, L119, that we decided to celebrate with a bake sale! We appreciate all those who came out to support us!
January 2019: Sidney Spit Restoration
The Spit is a rare coastal sand ecosystem that had been invaded by Scotch broom and European beach grass. These invasive species crowd out native plants (such as the endangered Contorted-pod Evening-primrose) and destroy habitats for many birds and other species. We spent a sunny day with Parks Canada removing the invasive European beach grass in order to allow the native species to thrive. We were lucky enough to spot many unique species while we were there!
March 2019: The Rights of Nature Movie Screening
Western views and the legal system tend to view nature as property, and as a resource from which wealth is extracted, a commodity whose only value is to provide for human needs. But for millennia indigenous communities have viewed themselves as part of nature.
As pressures on ecosystems mount and as conventional laws seem increasingly inadequate to address environmental degradation, communities, cities, regions and countries around the world are turning to a new legal strategy known as The Rights of Nature. This film takes viewers on a journey that explores the more recent origins of this legal concept, and its application and implementation in Ecuador, New Zealand, and the United States. Learn how constitutional reforms adopted in Ecuador have helped recognize nature as a legal entity, and how partnerships between the Māori and the government of New Zealand have led to personhood status for rivers, lakes and forests, and a renewed sense of balance between people and nature. See how the Rights of Nature function in the urban setting of Santa Monica, California.
The film explores the successes and challenges inherent in creating new legal structures that have the potential to maintain and restore ecosystems while achieving a balance between humans and nature.
Invasive Species Removal:
Students for the Salish Sea collaborated with Peninsula Stream Keepers to do some wonderful restoration work. The day was spent removing invasive Yellow Flag Iris around Maltby Lake.
Forage Fish Egg Survey:
We had a great group of volunteers to come out and learn how to conduct a forage fish egg survey! The samples collected were used by Peninsula Streams Society to provide capacity to build a beach survey monitoring network in the Capital Regional District (CRD). If we can identify beaches as forage fish spawning beaches, it will lead to better protection of these important sites.
Forage fish are super-abundant schooling fishes such as sand lance, surf smelt, herring, sardine, capelin and eulachon. These small fish are ‘forage’ or ‘prey’ for an abundance of species from birds, marine mammals & fish.
Being the cornerstone of the marine food web, forage fish are the most important fish in the sea. They connect food energy from zooplankton to their predators. These predators (salmon, lingcod and rockfish, etc.) are prey for larger animals, such as Sea Lions and Orcas.
After making signs together, we joined millions of people around the world in a fight against climate change.
Artifishal Documentary Screening:
Students for the Salish Sea, in partnership with Watershed Watch Salmon Society, hosted a screening of the Patagonia documentary "Artifishal." Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon's slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature. Following the film, we had a Q&A with Aaron from Watershed Watch and Misty from Raincoast!
Blue Water Task Force Test Day
Students for the Salish Sea joined Surfrider to conduct some water quality tests.