Featured BC Wetland Stewards
The BCWF Bog Blog acknowledges that wetland stewards are making huge contributions to wildlife and ecosystems all across BC. This page will be used to link you to what they are doing right now. If you think you should be added to this list, send an email to the Wetlands Education Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter de Koning & Luke Warrenton, A Rocha Canada
Luke and Peter of A Rocha Canada attended the Wetland Institute in 2012 along the Sea-to-Sky. They then partnered with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Pearson Ecological to remove 2000 square meters of Reed Canary Grass in the Little Campbell River Watershed in Surrey, BC. Furthermore, they dug an off-channel to provide 1000 square meters of new wetland habitat for Coho Salmon fry and the red-listed Salish Sucker.
Sara Barker, Squamish
When working for the engineering and environmental firm Klohn Crippen Berger, Sara attended the 2012 Wetland Institute along the Sea-to-Sky to receive more insight on the best approach to the Revelstoke Wetland Restoration Project. This 1600 square foot wetland, constructed along the Upper Columbia River/Kinbasket Reservoir, will provide habitat for the Western Toad.
Kyle Rasmussen, Nanaimo
Kyle Rasmussen was hired by the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society as an Environment Sustainability Researcher to explore restoration options for the Nature Trust of B.C. regarding the Somenos Marsh. The marsh, located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia abuts the Somenos Lake, home to nine species-at-risk and a population of Anadromous Salmonids. Kyle attended the 2012 Wetland Institute to further his knowledge on what kinds of wetlands are possible in different areas adjacent to Somenos Lake and what the prerequisites are for each type. His report was completed in August 2013 and can be viewed here.
Kai Rietzel, Cowichan Land Trust & Quamichan Watershed Stewardship Society
Kai (of the Cowichan Land Trust and the Quamichan Watershed Stewardship Society) attended the Wetland Institute along the Sea-to-Sky in 2012. Afterwards, she partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and our favourite international wetland construction expert, Tom Biebighhauser, to create 4 wetlands and 3 smaller ephemeral wetlands in the Quamichan Watershed. These wetlands were designed to trap shale sediments from upstream construction, filter excess nitrogen and phosphorous, and provide wildlife habitat.
Rachel Drennan, Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition
After attending the Wetland Institute in 2012, Rachel Drennan of the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition completed some work on the ongoing Silverdale Wetland restoration project in Mission. A new valve was installed to help control water levels and a new channel was created for spawning Chum, Chinook, Coho, and Pink salmon. In addition, Rachel has given in-kind organizational assistance at the 2013 Aquatic Invertebrate Workshop and the 2012 Mission Wetlandkeepers course, both held at Silverdale Wetland!
The Purple Thistle Centre, Vancouver
The Purple Thistle Centre is a youth-run arts and activism centre in Vancouver. They removed hundreds of kilograms of garbage and planted native species to restore a small urban wetland that was being used as a dumping ground. Because of the centre’s interest in this wetland, 3 of their members (Adam Huggins, Ilana Fonarioy, and Eddie Rothschild) attended the Wetland Institute in 2012. Centre members all pitch in to steward the Purple Thistle Wetland.
Celia Serrano, Balance Ecological
Originally from Spain, Celia now works with Balance Ecological in the Fraser Valley. She has been involved in monitoring projects for species at risk such as the Oregon Spotted Frog, Red Legged Frog, and Salish Sucker. After attending the 2012 Sea-to-Sky Wetlands Institute, Celia aided in the design and creation of a 25 meter wide groundwater-fed, ephemeral wetland in Agassiz. It is the hope that Staiger Wetland (as it was named) will provide habitat for Red Legged frogs and other wildlife.
Paul Berlinguette & Fiona Wright, North Shore Wetland Partners Society
Paul & Fiona, both passionate stewards, have been volunteering for conservation works in North & West Vancouver for 20 years. Their passion for watersheds on the North Shore was instrumental in assisting to coordinate the Wetlandkeepers, Cypress Bowl 2010. They continue to be some of the area’s most vocal wetland defenders, helping to educate children about the importance of these spaces to frogs and working to create a stronger network of volunteer wetlandkeepers in their area.
Ann and Bryan Green, Burnaby Lake Park Association
The face of Burnaby Lake Park Association, Ann Green engages volunteers in nest box maintenance and the removal of invasive plants. In the urban oasis of Burnaby Lake, Ann and her husband Bryan diligently work toward enhancing the natural features of the park to make each visitor’s experience of wetlands and open water a positive one. By coordinating volunteers and organizing community events, they are able to monitor the local wildlife population. Ann and Bryan were participants in our 2012 Sea-to-Sky Wetlands Institute as well as the Aquatic Invertebrate Workshop. They also hosted the Burnaby Lake Map our Marshes course in 2013.
Natashia Cox, Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition
A past participant of the 2010 Kamloops Wetlands Institute and past intern with the BCWF Wetlands Education Program, Natashia has gone on to do great things for wetlands. She has recently done radio-telemetry fieldwork with Oregon-Spotted Frogs and Bullfrogs in the Fraser Valley and is now on board with the Watershed Coalition there. Natashia is passionate about wetland conservation and education and will continue to carry her passion forward in all the work she does. In addition, she helped host the Aquatic Invertebrate Workshop at Silverdale Wetland and the 2012 Mission Map our Marshes course.
Diane James & Sue Huddardt, Kamloops
Ever since the Wetland Institute of 2010, volunteers Diane & Sue have taken great initiative in monitoring the Stud Pasture Wetland in collaboration with the Tk’emlups Indian Band. Recently they worked with the WEP and the Tk’emlups to further restore two nearby sites at the Kamloops Restoration Workshop (2011). The two swamp enthusiasts have helped to inspire local school children by encouraging them to stop by and check up on the site, listen for frogs and toads and monitor the plants that were put into the grounds there. This is in the hope of providing habitat for wildlife including the Spadefoot Toad, a species at risk.
Michele Hamilton, KLO Middle School wetland steward
Past participant of the Wetlands Institute in Kamloops (2010), Michele is a Science teacher and school Eco Club leader at KLO Middle School. She has made significant progress with her stewardship project by engaging students, parents and the school board with her wetland rehabilitation project on the school grounds. Michele has been featured in an article in The Province on the project, and the school has now won the Mayor’s environmental Award for the most environmental school in Kelowna. She has inspired students and peers, has received financial support to get her project in motion, and the school board is still studying her proposal.
Nichole Marples, Executive Director to the Langley Environmental Partners Society
Past participant in the Wetland Institute workshop (2000), she has gone on to lead a local environmental initiative that engages the community in all manner of conservation activities: from community gardening to education on invasive species, composting and water conservation to name a few. Her work also includes wetland education and protection in the Langley area where she has been involved with the creation of educational kits for school children, the creation of a wetland on the grounds of a local elementary school, and has participated in stream enhancement in Aldergrove.
Wayne Salewski, Regional President of BCWF, Vanderhoof
An active advocate of conservation, Wayne has identified wetlands for restoration, including Redmond & W.L. McLeod Wetlands (two sites visited during the Wetlandkeepers course in Vanderhoof, 2010). Wayne is also contacting landowners for a huge project to protect creeks along the Nechako River watershed. He has successfully connected people to wetlands by sharing the positive results of the Murray Creek Project, its associated wildlife and wetlands and reducing the potential threats to this environment. Wayne was recently nominated as the Hometown Hero for Earth Day by his community in Vanderhoof, and was one of the top 3 finalists in Canada.
Marge Sidney, The Logan Lake Enhancement Working Group, Kamloops
Featured in Logan Lake Wetland Project
A 2010 Wetlands Institute participant, Marge is involved with a group which focuses on restoring the lake’s ecosystem, protecting it for the future, improving social benefits and creating an educational component. This has lead to a restoration project executed with the help of BCIT students & instructors, experts & wetland enthusiasts. Marge has been featured in our article in Women’s Outdoor World Magazine & in BC Nature (pg. 16).
Edith Tobe, Squamish River Watershed Society
Past participant of the wetland institute of 2010, professional biologist, Edith Tobe is the executive director of the Squamish River Watershed Society. A champion of wetland amphibians, she has collaborated with the BCWF Wetlands Eduction Program on the coordination of Wetlandkeepers, Squamish 2011. Edith has been featured in our articles on stewards in Women’s Outdoor World Magazine & BC Nature (Pg. 16), as well as in several articles in the Squamish Chief, and in a Suzuki Foundation video for her amazing work. In August 2011 she constructed/restored multiple wetlands around Brohm Lake, Squamish, through funds obtained from the Ministry of Transportation.
Heather Toles, Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park Restoration, Kamloops
Heather Toles is an avid wetland conservationist: she attended the Wetlandkeepers course in 2007, the 2010 Wetlands Institute, the Puddle Project and the Kamloops Wetland Restoration Workshop in 2011, and now sits on a committee as an advisor for the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park Wetland Restoration Project in Kamloops. During the Wetlands Institute she also volunteered her backyard for the creation of a wetland where she continued to monitor changes.
Ian Wright, Shawnigan Lake School Wetland Restoration
Participant in the 2011 Squamish Wetlandkeeper course & the 2012 Sea-to-Sky Wetlands Institute, Ian is currently working with students at the Shawnigan Lake school to repair a nearby damaged wetland as an educational tool. The students are participating in the removal of invasive Reed Canary Grass and fish surveys along the Riparian edge. By bringing together the young students, concerned citizens and professionals, Ian’s project will leave a lasting legacy in this community.