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Cowichan Lake & River Stewardship Society

Dedicated to Creating a Diverse and Resilent Watershed

Our purpose is to act to ensure the health and protection of the Cowichan watershed; to inform and educate landowners, other citizens and governments about the environmentally sustainable use of the upper Cowichan watershed and its riparian zone; and to work with schools, citizens and other like-minded groups for this purpose.

About
Cowichan Lake & River Stewardship Society

Our Values

We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territories used by the Cowichan, Lake Cowichan and Ditidaht First Nations for centuries.   Our aim is that the work of our organization will make a positive contribution to our shared future in this valley.

We conduct our business using the Fourfold Way:

  • We respect each other by having just one speaker at a time;

  • We expect people to speak from the heart with passion;

  • We expect people to show up to solve problems; and

  • We expect people to speak without blame.

We believe we are facing a climate emergency and must act accordingly. 

Our Place 

Our stewardship actions are focused in the Cowichan Lake and upper Cowichan River in active partnership with residents of Honeymoon Bay, Youbou and Town of Lake Cowichan as well as the CVRD, Cowichan Watershed Board, British Columbia Conservation Foundation(BCCF), Cowichan Stewardship Roundtable and other active valley organizations.

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Our Work in the Valley

Taking Care of the Cowichan

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Fry Rescue

Every year, by the end of June, thousands of salmon fry are stranded in pools as the river flow decreases. Many tributaries to the Lake such as the Robertson River, Sutton Creek, Meade Creek and others also dry up. For a number of years, a dedicated crew of CLRSS volunteers, community members and Cowichan Tribes members have collaborated to save as many fry as possible by relocating them to the lake for summer survival.

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Annual River Clean-up

Beginning in 2009, a group of folks from the shores of Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan River, came together to show their respect for our shared watershed, this great Canadian Heritage River and the lake at its source. It has been 11 years of hauling tonnes of old appliances, tires, metal bits, bottles, cans, punctured tubes, needles and lots of litter out of the river.

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Cowichan Shoreline Restoration Project

Partnering with BCCF we have worked with more than 40 shoreline lake and river property owners; removing invasive species and planting native plants in their place; employing a Project Manager and crew of four secondary students every summer for six years; carrying out over 300 volunteer interviews with shoreline property owners educating them on riparian issues. We are well on our way to meeting our project goals: To promote a "stewardship first" culture by protecting and enhancing riparian areas.

We have produced a short video on the program with support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Download our Riparian Care & Maintenance Manual or our brochure CLRSS Riparian Insights

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Gerald Thom Memorial Native Plant Garden

A garden for the community that demonstrates the beauty and hardiness of native plants. A dream of Gerald Thom  built by the Cowichan community in Saywell Park.  Come visit.

For an excellent slideshow on the history of the garden Click here.  

For More Detailed Information on All our Programs (Click here)

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Get in Touch

PO Box 907 Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0

250.228.2279

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©2020 by Cowichan Lake & River Stewards. Photo Credits Judy Brayden, Genevieve Singleton. Leroy Van Weiren, Chantelle McGeachey, Jean Atkinson & Parker Jefferson. Proudly created with Wix.com