Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society
Somenos Marsh is a wonderful wild area on southern Vancouver Island fringing both the Duncan and North Cowichan urban areas. In 1988 the BC Ministry of Environment identified Somenos as “one of the best places to view wildlife close to an urban centre”. In 2000 Somenos Marsh achieved a special designation when Bird Life International recognized Somenos Marsh as a ‘globally significant’ Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).
Somenos Marsh has a long and rich history. Waterfowl travelling the Pacific Flyway, as well as resident wildlife, have used Somenos for overwintering and food for time immemorial. Archaeological evidence within the Conservation Area prove that the Cowichan people have occupied the lands in and around Somenos Marsh for at least 4,000 years. The Cowichan people tell us that they have been here since time immemorial (learn more). The fertile lowland known locally as ‘Somenos Flats” has been drained and farmed since the earliest European settlers found their way to the Cowichan Valley.
How Can You Help?
Become a Member
Becoming a member is one way to help provide core financial support for our work and objectives. Membership numbers are always valuable when advocating for the Marsh; they also provide the core volunteers a sense of support for our efforts. Fill out our membership form here.
Financial and in kind support is always appreciated for our many restoration and research projects and to support the continued employment of our Program Manager and Ecosystem Scientist. We have several projects on the go including ecological restoration work, research, and new wildlife viewing infrastructure construction. Please fill out our donation form to support our efforts.
We have a place for every type of skill or for people wanting to learn new skills and meet new people. Fill out our volunteer form to find out about volunteer opportunities available with the SMWS. We will add you to our volunteer email list so you will hear about exciting and important volunteer opportunities.
Visit our Facebook page or read our Blog for up to date reports on our events, projects and stories.
Check this space regularly for announcements, event notices and other current happenings. Please also follow our social media pages to keep up to date with the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society!
On Tuesday March 19 from 10am-1pm join the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society for a broom removal event!
The Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area and Ye’yumnuts are important areas as they are home for many plants and wildlife, and also have historical and ancestral significance in the Cowichan Valley. Scotch Broom is an invasive species here in B.C. Broom changes the chemistry of soil and competes with native plant communities that wildlife depends on.
Directions: Heading North through Duncan on the Highway turn right on Trunk Rd. Take a left on Lakes Rd then turn left on Trillium Terrace at the top of the hill. Continue and turn left onto York Rd until you reach a dead end. This is the meeting spot for the event. Tools and gloves will be provided as will treats and coffee for the break. We will have an educational speaker for the break as well.
Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear. The ground at this site is dry and reasonably flat. Bring drinking water and whatever food you would like. There is no washroom at this site.
On Thursday March 28 from 10am-1pm join the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society for a Himalayan Blackberry removal event at Somenos Creek!
Somenos Creek is an important riparian habitat for many fish, wildlife, and native vegetation. Himalayan Blackberry thickets can take over disturbed streamside banks increasing erosion and out-competing native vegetation. Removing the Blackberry will help the recovery of native shrubs and trees in the Somenos Creek area.
Directions: Heading North on the highway through Duncan, turn right onto Beverly St and then left at the Dog Park near Lakes Rd Roundabout, we will be meeting in the dog park parking lot. Tools and gloves will be provided as will treats and coffee for the break (bring your reusable mug). We will have an educational speaker for the break as well.
Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear. Bring drinking water and whatever food you would like. There is no washroom at this site.
Instagram : @somenos_marsh
We Would Love to Hear from You
Thank you for your interest in the treasure that is the Somenos Marsh. Drop us a line so we can work together for its protection.