What Have You Seine Today?

Willows_Beach_Seine

The weather is warming up and that can only mean one thing - time to get out and explore our natural surroundings! We want to give you the heads up on an exciting guided walk we are doing with the Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Parks.

Who: CRD Regional Parks' Naturalist and Habitat Acquisition Trust

When: Saturday, June 4th - 10:00-11:30am

Where: Witty's Lagoon Regional Park/ In the ocean!

This event is open to all ages and we encourage families to come out and get their feet wet as we explore creatures in the ocean. We will be using a seine net to see what lives deeper in the ocean: fish with horns and much, much more! Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet by the information kiosk at the end of Witty Beach Rd. There is public transportation available by taking BC Transit bus #54 or #55. This is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about what lives in our oceans, we hope to see you there!

The CRD is offering a plethora of amazing walks and tours all summer- check em out!

http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/events/calendar.aspx

CRD Parks

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Community Support - The Good Planet Company

 

Here at HAT we rely on the support from members, donors, foundations and businesses in the community to keep our programs vibrant and to protect land permanently. Our latest support comes from a local business that puts the environment first. We are pleased to announce that through the 1% For The Planet program through the Victoria Foundation, The Good Planet Company has chosen HAT for their 1%. We couldn't be more pleased to have such a wonderful group of people helping us reach our goals. We spoke briefly with The Good Planet Company to see what inspired them and what was new at their Fort Street location.

 

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Why did you choose Habit Acquisition Trust?

When the decision was made to do 1% For The Planet, the Good Planet team members each nominated the organizations that we thought were making a difference.  The list was actually quite short, because we all like the same organizations.  The next step was a bit more challenging. After looking at the merits of each organization and discussing them we each chose our top 4.

HAT was an easy fit.  We all chose environmental organizations that are making real difference in our community. We particularly like HAT's monitoring, education and habitat protection.

What issues are important to The Good Planet Co?

The Good Planet Company was founded on principles of treading lightly and helping our customers do the same. We appreciate that the experts at HAT contribute science to local decisions. We really like that HAT holds covenants that will protect habitats in perpetuity.

What inspired you to take part in the 1% For The Planet Program?

Being part of 1% For The Planet allows us to make a public commitment while expressing our values in a concrete way. It aligns us with other businesses that we strongly respect.

What is new and exciting at The Good Planet Co?

We continue to scour the world for products and innovations which can help our customers live with lighter footprints and make it easy to take.  The most exciting of our new products is the Sienna Bed.  This Natural Rubber Mattress and Foundation have many of the features of our other models while using fewer raw materials and is also easier on your budget. Since natural rubber mattresses last 20-30 years, the investment is a wise one. The Sienna is creating quite a stir.

We offer our thanks once again to The Good Planet Company, The Victoria Foundation and 1% For The Planet for helping to bring our community together. We encourage you to visit their websites to see what else they have been up to.

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http://www.goodplanet.com/

http://www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca/web/initiatives/1percent

http://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/

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Four Spots Left for Brentwood Bay Boat Trip!

When: Wednesday, May 25th

Where: Senanus Island

Time: 9:00-3:00pm

Four spaces left for Brentwood Bay boat trip to legendary Senanus Island with Tsartlip 1st Nation elders and HAT habitat restoration crew. Call 250-995-2428 and ask for Todd to reserve your seat.

Photo by Todd Carnahan:

Ray_Sam_and_clam_photo_by_Todd_Carnahan_2

Holding a clam harvested by youth for their elders, 2009 was Ray Sam’s last visit to SENINES (Senanus) Island, a sacred place in Tsartlip Territory. His death in 2010 left only a handful of fluent SENCOTEN language speakers in the community, but the Lauwelnew School is expanding, and the Coast Saalish people are renewing cultural practices like the First Salmon Ceremony.

See it for yourself at the Tsawout First Nation’s Seafood Feast (by donation) on June 11th, 10am - 4pm

http://www.tsawout.com/index.php/community-calendar/details/209-tsawout-annual-seafood-festival

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Havenwood Park Blog

Gary Neilson, friend of Havenwood Park and volunteer extraordinaire, has started a new blog to "help promote and share ideas on the conservation and recreational values" at Havenwood Park.  He has already posted some beatiful pictures of wildflowers in Havenwood, and a video showing broom encroachment on the wildlfower meadows.

Check it out and leave comments at http://havenwoodpark.wordpress.com/.

Here is one of Gary's pictures, shamelessly stolen from his blog of Chickweed Monkey Flower.

Gary Neilson - havenwood.wordpress.com

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Major Gas Spill at Goldstream

I’ve spent some time at Goldstream over the years, as a naturalist with the Nature House, as an inexperienced birder with binoculars, and as a father with my children.  During my years as a naturalist, I spent a lot of time with the salmon run, and I thought I had dissected chum salmon for school children on every conceivable kind of day.  Most vividly I remember the mornings so cold I couldn’t feel my fingers as took out a salmon’s heart to show children how strong this hidden muscle had be for the salmon struggle its way through the river current after a hard life at sea.  I know there were warm days, and sunny days.  Still, it’s the cold late November and December days filled with the smell of dead salmon, the cry of gulls, and frozen fingers that I remember best, and that I looked forward most to sharing with my children.

40,000 litres of gas, spilled into the Goldstream River, and carried into the Estuary and Saanich Inlet, is a shocking reminder of how quickly these a special places can be damaged or destroyed.  Salmon have been spawning in Goldstream for thousands of years.  That I be would be able to share that experience with my children in 2 or 3 years seemed a given.  But, after a few hours one weekend, there are now doubts.  It seems likely at least one year class of Chum salmon is gone.  Maybe two years of Coho, who were already struggling at Goldstream (Coho spend a full year in the river, so those hatched in last spring may still have been near enough to be effected, in addition to this year’s young).  Time, ultimately, will tell us what the full impact will be.  That time will be anxious, worried, uncertain – and at least 4 years long.

A few years ago, I left my position at Goldstream to work for HAT.  While I no longer freeze my fingers inside dead salmon each fall, I still have ties to Goldstream, both personal and professional.  HAT raises money each year to send children to the fall salmon run.  Over 40,000 children have attended a free Salmon Run school programs because local businesses (Goldstream Chums – get it?) have donated money to fund these iconic programs.  It’s an experience Victorians have grown up with for generations.  Ask anyone who has grown up here, and chances are they visited the Goldstream Salmon as a kid, and remember a program with a naturalist.  What happens now, 1 weekend and 40,000 litres of gas later?

During this uncertain and anxious time, this is certain – HAT will continue to support school programs at Goldstream, and we hope you, with the Chums, will too.  Now, more than ever, children need to experience the majesty and beauty of that ancient forest and its meandering river, and rich cycle of life it supports.

-Adam Taylor

stained_glass_chum

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