Members of the Victoria Real Estate Board donate $10,000 to Peninsula Streams Society during a tour of the restored Swan Lake salmon bearing stream that flows into Colquitz River. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Peninsula Streams given $10K towards restored Colquitz watershed

Victoria Real Estate Board donates time, money to Saanich waterway

It was on a walk and talk along Swan Creek last week that the Peninsula Streams Society was awarded $10,000 from the Victoria Real Estate Board towards its Colquitz watershed stewardship program.

Ian Bruce, the executive director of Peninsula Streams Society, showed a group of members from VREB just how resilient the local salmon are.

“My first introduction to this creek was a home heating oil spill that leaked in Swan Creek,” Bruce recalled. “I’m in the water, hip deep in my waders with a film of oil across the top of the creek and something bumps me in the back of the leg. I find this [massive] coho swimming under me and I’m thinking, what is this doing here.”

Before the Marigold area was developed, Colquitz and Swan Creek were key spawning grounds for coho salmon and cutthroat trout. At some point at least 50 years ago, Swan Creek was split and had two salmon-bearing tributaries which rerouted through a new channel of Swan Creek, which was dug out by an excavator near Violet and Daisy avenues.

“It’s amazing they didn’t think to throw a few shovels of gravel in here,” Bruce said.

The Friends of the Swan Creek Watershed, one of the many hyper-local volunteer efforts that Peninsula Streams Society supports and works with, put in hundreds of hours into restoring the Swan Creek stream in the last few years. Even despite decades without a gravel base, which is paramount for the spawning fish, the fish continue to return. Upwards of 80 salmon came through in the most recent spawning cycle.

“We have a number of principles and one of them is the environment and being a good steward,” said Anthony Wick, chair of the VREB’s community relations committee.

VREB has made previous donations to Habitat for Humanity and HeroWork. This year it was to Peninsula Streams.

“We value the community, clean water, clean air, the more we clean up the environment the better our communities can be,” Wick said.

Peninsula Streams runs three education programs across the Peninsula free of charge. In Saanich, the Grade 3 program Watershed and Salmon Life-Cycle Program is now in its 12th year, with 550 students per year at Prospect, Lochside, Cordova Bay and McKenzie eleemntary schools.

The Grade 5 program ‘Cool Carbon Connections,’ is now in its 3rd year and is also delivered to McKenzie elementary, while the Grade 6 program Creatures of Habitat reaches 700 students per year, including Royal Oak and Colquitz middle schools.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Officials worry of fire risk at homeless camp

Regina Park camp has grown to 77 tents

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Victoria couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

BC Supreme Court rules in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban

Court dismisses a challenge by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Crews search for missing kayaker near Sooke

The person was seen launching their kayak from Beecher Bay on Monday at noon

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 19

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

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Police find capsized boat near Tofino, 3 men still missing

Five men were aboard the boat when it sank off Vancouver Island early Monday morning

Drive-thru voting in Saanich crashes over environmental concerns

Environmental concerns over climate change could stall drive-thru voting in Saanich. Angila… Continue reading

Most Read