The Craigflower Watershed includes Craigflower Creek

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

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

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

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read