Helping Improve and Restore Habitat in the Somenos Marsh Ecosystems

Planting and restoration of riparian vegetation in Somenos Marsh will supply food for aquatic and terrestrial organisms, stabilize banks, control stream flow and water temperature, and will catch sediment and residue from upland sources. The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society’s Somenos Creek Salmon Habitat Restoration Project aims to reintroduce streamside native trees to restore fish habitat. The Somenos Creek is a significant area for Salmon migration and spawning. Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses and fungi are significant components of riparian streamside vegetation and also helps stream ecosystems by reducing erosion and providing a protective cover for fish to reproduce and thrive.

Planting of Cottonwood Trees

Black Cottonwood trees (Populus trichocarpa) are an important part of riparian forests; they provide shade that keeps the water cool during the summer, a critical factor for fish and wildlife. As well as being essential fish habitat, woodland stream side areas supply nesting sites for birds and travel corridors for the wildlife in the Cowichan Valley.

cottonwood trees.jpg

Urban expansion, logging, and agriculture have reduced or demolished the vegetation of many streams, rivers and forests in the Cowichan Valley. Cottonwoods depend on the natural flooding cycles for nutrients and maintaining soil moisture. Intensive livestock grazing in sensitive areas has resulted in damage to soil structure, removal of understory vegetation, and reduced the number of native species.  Helping plant these Cottonwood trees and other native plants will help with the recovery of vegetation in riparian areas and forests in the Cowichan Valley.

Join us for creek planting during our winter volunteer events to help restore and improve habitat in our ecosystems.

Winter Volunteer Events:

The next event at Somenos Creek is on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 from 10am to 1pm. We will be planting native trees on the bank of Somenos Creek. Meet at the Somenos Creek Dog Park on Beverly St at Lakes Rd. Biologist Kristen Miskelly of Saanich Native Plants will be co-hosting the event and speaking to volunteers at the break.

Special thanks to Cowichan Tribes and Municipality of North Cowichan for their support of the project.



Streamside Keepers handbook

Riparian Vegetation Survey of Somenos Creek by Dave Preikshot PhD

Riparian Planting Plan for Somenos Creek by Kristen Miskelly and James Miskelly

Article by Erin Rowland

Elizabeth Aitken