Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society



CSSP Pilot Project

The first phase of the CSSP, completed in the fall of 2016,  was a 3 year pilot project to engage community and to change attitudes regarding the value of riparian areas and to involve shoreline owners who wished to return their riparian zones to a healthy state.

Based upon conversations with waterfront property owners during visits with them, there has been a positive change of attitudes and behaviour with respect to natural riparian areas due to our activities.   This is reflected in the interest shown in riparian restoration by property owners.  In the beginning of the project,  we sought out property owners who might be interested in riparian restoration of their property.  By the end of the project we were finding that the roles had changed, now property owners were seeking us in order to have their properties restored.

Below, you will find:

Pilot Project Summary Report

Funding Report

Project Detailed Yearly Reports

2016 Report

2015 Report

2014 Report

Photo Gallery of Project Work

Pilot Project Summary Report

Here is a summary of what we have accomplished under the Pilot Project:

Riparian Restoration

  • restored 8,167 square metres of habitat by
  • planting 4,570 plants on
  • 22 properties on Cowichan Lake and Cowichan River.

Each property now has a “Shoreline Steward” driveway sign that calls attention to their participation in the program.

We have produced a Riparian Care & Maintenance Manual, a valuable resource regarding the identification, care and maintenance of all riparian plants.  Click here to see it. 

Landowner Education

Participants were identified through the landowner education component of CSSP where CLRSS volunteers knocked on doors and talked to individual owners about the benefits of natural vegetation on their foreshores.  To date, we have completed 282 of these “riparian visits”.

We also administered 227 surveys that measure owners’ knowledge of riparian protection bylaws and their personal preferences for balancing their recreational needs with the ecological value of retaining natural shoreline vegetation on their properties.

Community Engagement

Restored sites were used as demonstrations for riparian tours led by the Project’s Manager.  The 7 tours conducted have proven successful in engaging a wider audience including: media, politicians, individual property owners, and members of other watershed groups.

Community engagement was also realized through the CLRSS website and Facebook page as well as articles in the local newspaper.  We also featured CSSP when participating in community events.

Intangible Results

Besides the aforementioned results which are easily measureable, another achievement is the affect the project had upon the young adults who have worked with us doing riparian restoration.  Each has turned into a riparian ambassador, spreading the word about the value of the riparian zone and some have even gone on to pursue higher education in environmental studies.

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Project work was funded primarily by grants, but also by property owner donations. We would like to thank and acknowledge the following:

Cash Supporters

In Kind Supporters

Cowichan Valley Regional District BC Conservation Foundation
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program)   Cowichan Valley Naturalists
Environment and Climate Change Canada (EcoAction Community Funding Program)   Lake Cowichan First Nation
First West Foundation (Island Savings Community Endowment)   McGrade Enterprises
Habitat Conservation Trust Fund Meyers, Norris, Penny
Lake Cowichan First Nation Polster Environmental
Pacific Salmon Foundation And of course . . .

the many CLRSS volunteers

Participating Project Property Owners

Sidney Anglers

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Project Detailed Yearly Reports

CSSP Summer 2016 Report

  Here is the concluding report for the Pilot Phase:

CSSP 2016 Final Report

CSSP Summer 2015 Report

For complete details of what we have accomplished in 2015 click on the following:

CSSP 2015 Detailed Report

CSSP Summer 2014 Report

In the  first year of the project we completed many important things including

  • making door to door visits of approximately 100 lakeshore residences to talk about the health of the Lake

  • completion of surveys to determine concerns of Lake residents

  • and most importantly, working to repair and restore riparian habitat around the Lake

CSSP 2014 Summary Report

CSSP 2014 Detailed Report

Our CLRSS 5 person summer work crew, consisting of a VIU student supervisor & 4 Lake Cowichan high school students, worked diligently to complete riparian restoration work on seven properties around the Lake.

Activities included:

  • consultation with property owners on developing a planting plan to restore their riparian zone to its native state

  • invasive plant removal & planting preparation

  • planting of 2500+ native plants

  • watering

  • erection of deer fencing

Communal Sites

We completed two projects on communal sites.  One in Honeymoon Bay at the Paradise RV Park and the other on Lake Cowichan First Nations property on North Shore Road.

Paradise RV Park July 5th

The CLRSS work crew led 34 volunteers from the RV Park and CLRSS to restore a 640 square meter area of foreshore, planting 527 native plants.   After the hard work, a hamburger and hot dog BBQ, provided by the Paradise RV folks, was enjoyed by all.  On August 26th the CLRSS work crew returned to weed the whole area.

Lake Cowichan First Nations July 26th

At the Lake Cowichan First Nation's site on North Shore road the CLRSS work crew led 33 volunteers from Lake Cowichan First Nations, the CLRSS & other stewardship organizations in the replanting of 853 native plants in a 1,500 square meter foreshore area.

Individual Owner Sites

The CLRSS summer work crew worked on five properties around the Lake.  Working together with the property owners 1,154 native plants were planted.  Some of the plantings addressed beach erosion problems as well as riparian issues.

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Photo Gallery


Paradise RV Park

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Last updated: 09/10/18.