A Fresh Look at Roberts Bay: New Information Shared by the Roberts Bay Residents Association

Roberts Bay looking north across the Mermaid Creek Estuary (summer 2021). Photo by Mary Chu.

Roberts Bay Restoration Project

Hot off the press!!  We just received the attached  report  “Analysis of Current and Historic Conditions in Roberts Bay” from Peninsula Streams and Sea Change Societies. Prepared by CORI (Coastal and Oceans Resources Inc.), it provides a detailed description of things like the slope and structure of the shoreline around the bay plus the plants and animals found at each level. This is in addition to the birds and other wildlife we are already familiar with which depend on the bay’s ecology for their survival. Starting at page 40, (see link below)  the work on the Mermaid Creek estuary and saltmarsh demonstrates how the saltmarsh has diminished and receded in the past  60 years and how this  relates to carbon storage and climate change. The final paragraph (page 60) concludes: “This analysis provides insights into potential restoration efforts. It is clear the estuary can support a much larger marsh which is a good basis for restoration and provides a reasonable expectation of success. The active erosion of the front edge, the sediment deposits on the marsh during storm events, and the coastal squeeze the marsh is currently experiencing make it clear that simply adding sediment to the beach below the marsh and replanting (or allowing colonization) will fail if measures are not put in place to mitigate wave action and prevent erosion.”  This report, along with other documented evidence like water quality and volumes at the Mermaid Creek outfall, provides a foundation for the Town, Peninsula Streams and Sea Change to seek funding to engage shoreline restoration specialists and work with residents to maintain and enhance Roberts Bay for the future.

https://coastaloceans-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/sarah_coastalandoceans_com/ETSmUokKWNJKv4PvGKCZXPoBwXm3PHmS8kE1uT7omqorjQ?e=NjYa5Q/

Reprinted with permission from the Roberts Bay Residents Steering Committee

Editor’s Note: It is understood that the rapid surges in flow delivered to Roberts Bay following heavy rainfall events are potentially harmful to the creek estuary and to Roberts Bay due to both quality and quantity of the storm water. The :”atmospheric rivers” experienced this autumn (2021) seem likely to become seasonal events heightening the importance of adequate storm water management..

Friends of Shoal Harbour join Nature Canada and other environmental advocates in urging the federal government to stop and reverse nature loss by 2030

200 organizations call on the federal government to follow through on election promises11/18/2021SHARE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, ON –  November 18, 2021

As parliament prepares to return next week, two hundred of Canada’s leading nature organizations are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure the federal government prioritizes the protection and recovery of nature during this session of Parliament, as promised during the recent federal election. 

Over the past two weeks, world leaders have gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, at the UN climate conference COP26. Today’s open letter reminds federal parties that the protection and restoration of nature is critical to our global environmental recovery and that Canada must solve the climate and biodiversity crises together or risk solving neither.  

“We must put in place stronger actions to cut greenhouse emissions. And we must deliver a comprehensive plan — with timelines and targets — to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and bring nature to full recovery by 2050,” the letter reads. 

“Despite the historic nature investment in Budget 2021 and advancement of protected areas, studies show that Canadian laws and policies to safeguard biodiversity have fallen short and we continue to lose nature faster than we can recover it.”  

The letter focuses on five key areas where the federal government must urgently and effectively act to protect and restore nature: 

  1. Protecting at least 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030  
  2. Supporting Indigenous-led conservation and respecting Indigenous rights
  3. Getting nature-based climate solutions right 
  4. Restoring degraded ecosystems 
  5. Supporting urban biodiversity and advancing environmental justice 

The nature groups want to underscore the urgency of this moment for Canada and the planet and they look forward to working with all parliamentarians to build a nature-positive, carbon neutral and equitable Canada for all. 

***

QUOTES: 

Nature Canada 

The Government’s commitment to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 is a game-changer. With Canada’s wetlands, grasslands, and primary forests disappearing faster than we can recover them and over 600 wildlife species at risk, we are facing a climate and nature emergency that threatens our collective future. We need a comprehensive strategy to put us on the path to nature’s full recovery. The government’s platform commitments to support Indigenous-led conservation, protect and restore land and ocean and advance environmental justice must be top priorities for our new parliament. Over 200 nature organizations are ready to help. Our climate and planet depend on it. 

  • Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada 

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)  

We need urgent action on the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises. All levels of governments must work together toward our land and ocean protection goals, including by supporting and investing in Indigenous-led conservation and Indigenous Guardians programs that conserve nature while advancing reconciliation. 

  • Sandra Schwartz, CPAWS National Executive Director  

David Suzuki Foundation  

Human societies have to deeply embed and then act on the understanding that we are an interconnected part of nature. Species extinction, the destruction of nature, climate chaos and the disenfranchisement of many parts of society share common causes and require urgent, coordinated action to address. The ways forward are there and we need action from government and civil society to achieve what we know is possible. 

  • Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation 

-30- 

For more information contact: 

Nature Canada
Scott Mullenix – Director of Communications
smullenix@naturecanada.ca | 613-462-4024

David Suzuki Foundation (DSF)
Brendan Glauser – Director of Communications
bglauser@davidsuzuki.org | 604 356 8829  

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) – National
Tracy Walden – Director of Communications
twalden@cpaws.org | 613-915-4857  

World Wildlife Federation – Canada (WWF)
Elizabeth Hendriks
ehendriks@wwfcanada.org

2021 All Buffleheads Celebration

October 16, 2021 All Buffleheads Celebration

From left to right: Happy dog, Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, Member of the Provincial Parliament, Adam Olsen and the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia enjoy a chat before the official proceedings begin. We thank these influential and busy people for their continued support of our initiatives. By attending our celebration they affirm the importance of local organizations in promoting interest in action towards a healthy environment for birds, people and everything in between.

Master of Ceremonies, Bob Peart (Chair, Friends of Shaol Harbour) launches the proceedings

Tiffany Joseph, representative of the WSANEC Leadership Council,,speaks eloquently of the long occupancy of this site by the WSANEC people. Some WSANEC people think that the creation of the migratory bird sanctuary was beneficial to both birds and the interests of settlers.

The Town of Sidney’s Mayor, Cliff McNeil-Smith is a regular supporter of and attendee at All Buffleheads Celebrations as is the District of North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr. Mayor Orr talked about the need to unlearn and then relearn, skills essential to coping with the changing times we live in.

Mayor of the District of North Saanich, Geoff Orr

Farrell Boyce and Elaine Ethier (encouraged by Bob Peart in the background) perform How’d It Go This Summer?, a conversation between a stay-at-home Blue Heron and recently arrived Bufflehead Duck. The two critters talk about their experiences during a long, hot summer and their hopes that the “two-legs-no-wings” who seem to enjoy watching them will also be their friends..

Photographs by Rick Searle