Who We Are
Background of the CLRSS
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.
We are a not for profit organization operating under Schedule-1, effectively our by-laws, of the BC Societies Act.
Current Strategic Plan
The strategic plan states in a formal manner what we are trying to accomplish and records the progress we have made towards those goals. It is periodically reviewed and updated.
Shoreline riparian restoration
Water traffic monitoring and reporting to the RCMP
Annual river cleanup - scheduled for August
Water quality monitoring - performed weekly in summer
Signage of fish bearing streams
Fishery Monitoring and Rehabilitation
Riparian zone protection and monitoring - with CVRD and Ministry of the Environment
Invasive plant ID and control - with Coastal Invasive Plant Group
Sustainable water use and storage monitoring - with Cowichan Water Board
Check out our 2020 AGM report
Check out our 2021 AGM Report
In the summer of 2009, two public meetings were held in Lake Cowichan, each attended by upwards of 100 local residents. At each meeting residents spoke of historic, unresolved concerns (corporate management of the dam/weir, and river flow since 1957, harmful forest practices), current disrespectful behaviour by visitors and locals (pollution from river tubers, excessive noise from boaters, property damage from vandals) and concern for the future of the natural flora and fauna. Their once pristine natural environment was at serious risk! They realized that stewardship of their watershed was immediately necessary to safeguard the natural water heritage of the Cowichan Lake and River. What began as concern about the immediate problems soon embraced the future of the Cowichan Lake and River watershed.
As a result of these two large public forums, The Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Committee (CLRSC) was formed to plan actions for the stewardship of the Cowichan Lake and River. Respect was to be the new byword! This was participatory democracy in action.
Five interest-based sub-committees were formed, each setting its own goal and priorities. An umbrella organization overseeing the stewardship work, presided over by two co-chairs and supported by a secretary and web administrator, met monthly. Meetings were often attended by elected local area politicians and other expert guests and speakers and were open to all concerned citizens to attend.
The Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Committee (CLRSC) applied for status as a registered non-profit society. This was granted in March of 2011 and its name was changed to the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society (CLRSS). Our first Annual General Meeting was held in July of 2011, electing a new Board of Directors.
At the 2017 AGM of the CLRSS, we changed our by-laws from Schedule B of the BC Societies Act to adopt the new Schedule 1 (a change mandated by the changes to the BC Societies Act).
Click on the following for printable versions of our early newsletters.