2014 Annual Report

Alan @ the lighthouse

The Lighthouse at Brooks Point

Draft Minutes for the 2014
Annual General Meeting of PICA

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:30pm   Hope Bay Studio 

The meeting was chaired by Graham Boffey.  Twenty-four people attended.

Approval of the Agenda:  The agenda was approved with the addition of Eagle Watch under Other Business.

Moved: Sara Steil
Seconded: Paul Petrie

Approval of the Minutes of the 2013 AGM (April 26, 2013): The minutes of the 2013 AGM were approved.
Moved: Rhondda Porter
Seconded: Ursula Poepel

Financial Report  for 2013: Rhondda Porter presented the Financial Report consisting of the Balance Sheet (year-end, December 31, 2013) and the Income Statement for 2013 as prepared by Jon Heaney.  The Financial Report was approved.

Moved:  Ursula Poepel
Seconded: Don Peden

Report from the Board:  Rhondda Porter presented the 2014 Report from the Board.  The report will be posted on the PICA website, along with longer versions of the various committee reports.

Elections of Directors:  Graham Boffey conducted the elections

Note: The constitution allows for up to 10 Directors who are elected for a two-year term.

The Following Directors offered to continue:

Graham Boffey, Eleanor Brownlee, Ursula Poepel, Davy Rippner, and Rhondda Porter.  Paul Petrie has one more year of his initial two-year term to serve.  Sue Kronen retired from the Board in December 2013.

Candidates:  John Chapman was nominated, and although he was unable to attend the meeting, he had previously accepted the nomination. 

Moved to elect:  Paul Petrie
Seconded:  Rhondda Porter
Election to the Board confirmed by a show of hands.

Graham called for other nominations from the floor.  Ursula Poepel nominated Jackie Gill, who declined the nomination, although she indicated that she might consider joining the Board as a Director in the future.

Other Business:  David Manning – Eagle Monitoring:  After nine years coordinating Eagle Watch, David is retiring.  He spoke briefly of his work on the project and encouraged anyone interested in working as the project coordinator to contact him.

Adjournment:  The business meeting adjourned at 8:35.

After a break for refreshments, everyone sat back and enjoyed a fascinating and informative presentation.  

Talk by Misty MacDuffee: “Salmon, Orcas, and Humpbacks: The State of the Strait”

Misty is a biologist and program director with Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The meeting concluded at 10:15 pm

Minutes recorded by Rhondda Porter

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Sylvia Pincott and Davy Rippner at Brooks Point

Report from the Board
Annual General Meeting

May 15, 2014

Serving on the PICA Board of Directors during the past year have been:

Eleanor Brownlee   Vice President

Rhondda Porter   Secretary

Ursula Poepel   Treasurer

Graham Boffey  Stewardship Committee Chair

Davy Rippner  Website, Photographer and Events

Paul Petrie  Brooks Point Committee Co-chair

In December 2013, our Events Coordinator, Sue Kronen, resigned from the Board, due to the pressure of work.  The Board accepted her resignation with regret, as she was a genius at helping events run smoothly.  She has agreed to continue to help with events and was the chief organizer behind this year’s membership potluck.

The rest of the Board have agreed to continue and are looking forward to having a few new faces join them for the following year.

The Board would also like to acknowledge the many volunteers who help in so many different ways but special thanks go to…

  • Sara Steil who found such excellent speakers and arranged events which increased our awareness of our precious and fragile shoreline.
  • Paul and Monica Petrie and the members of the Brooks Point Completion Committee for all their efforts to preserve a precious piece of coastal bluff.
  • Amanda Griesbach and Lisa Fleming and all the volunteers involved with the Hope Bay Stream Salmon Recovery Project.
  • The Forage Fish Monitoring team, which does most of its work on Medicine Beach during the colder and wetter months of the year.
  • Amanda Griesbach who organizes our annual Beach Clean-up and the many Adopt-a-Beach volunteers who patrol the beaches and remove debris all year round.

Educational Events and Speakers:

  • At our Annual Members’ Pot-luck in February 2013, Dr. Peter Arcese spoke to us about the effects of the over-population of animals such as deer on native vegetation in his talk “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?”
  • In March, Coastal Engineer, John Readshaw, returned to Pender to conduct two shoreline field session, one on North Pender and one on South Pender to discuss the implications of climate change on shorelines and shoreline structures.
  • In June, Rick Harbo, took participants on a tour of the inter-tidal zone on Medicine Beach to learn about the amazing variety of organisms which inhabit this area.
  • In September PICA partnered with the Pender Island Film Group to support a showing of Alexandra Morton’s film “Salmon Confidential”.  Her colleague and film maker, Twyla Roscovich, was on hand to answer questions from the audience.
  • Also in September, Nikki Wright of SeaChange and Leanna Boyer of the Mayne Island Conservancy came to Pender to conduct an afternoon workshop on “What Nature May be Telling us about Adapting to Changing Climate”.  This event was the third and final shoreline event arranged by Sara Steil as a follow-up to October 2012’s Shoreline Apocalypse Event at the Community Hall.

Brooks Point

At PICA’s last AGM we reported that PICA had reached an agreement with the CRD to remove the subdivision option on the 2010 acquisition in exchange for PICA and conservation partners raising an additional $150,000 to complete the funding requirement by December 2014.  We achieved this ambitious goal in December 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

Our valued conservation partners, the Islands Trust Fund and Habitat Acquisition Trust led successful off Island fundraising drives.  The bocce tournament organized by Karl Hamson, Bill Deverell, Jan Kirkby and Hedi Kovac was a huge success.  David Howe and the Greenangels chopped 20 cords of firewood for the cause.  David Greer organized a successful golf tournament in Victoria.  We received very generous legacy donations to honour Leo Hamson, John and Dorothy Henshaw, and Dr. Albert and Joyce Vey.  The $50,000 grant from Environment Canada in December to protect habitat for species at risk completed the successful campaign.

However, the Pender Island community deserves the lion’s share of the credit for raising the first $150,000.  We will have a chance to thank our conservation partners and Pender supporters at the Brooks Point Completion Celebration on Friday July 18th at the Community Hall.

PICA’s efforts now turn to completing a strong protective covenant and updating the Regional Park Management Plan to ensure that Pender Islanders and visitors can appreciate the magic of this ecological gem forever.

PICA Website

Our webmaster, Davy Rippner, has been keeping the PICA website up and running.  The website has information about PICA events, Brooks Point, and Medicine Beach, Pender Post articles, photographs, and links to useful information.  You can visit us on-line at www.penderconservancy.org.  Davy also sends out PICA’s e-mail reminders and helps keep members up to date with events.

Financial Audit

An annual financial audit is usually a condition of applying for large grants and is generally a good idea when a non-profit society has a large balance of residual funds, as was the case with the Brooks Point Fundraising Campaign last year.  We have had audits prepared for 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Our auditor is currently completing the audit for 2013.

Conservation Covenants

Encouraging property owners to place conservation covenants on environmentally sensitive areas and special ecosystems continues to be an important part of what PICA does.  This year the Morrison family set up the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund in memory of Barrie.  The fund is administered by the Islands Trust Fund and is designed to help the owners of covenant- worthy properties with some of the costs of setting up a covenant.  Barrie Morrison was fervent believer in the value of covenants and the Legacy Fund is a wonderful tribute to his commitment to Pender.

PICA and the Islands Trust Fund are currently co-covenant holders on 17 covenants.  We are very grateful for all the property owners who have covenanted portions of their land, so that the land will be protected in perpetuity.  The annual covenant monitoring for 2014 will take place on May 21st and 22nd.

Annual Beach Clean-up

PICA’s 4th Annual Beach Clean-up for Earth Day Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Medicine Beach prepared our island beaches for the springtime and summer seasons.  On hand to meet and assist participants with their car- and truck-loads of recyclables and detritus were North Pender Trustees Gary Steeves and Ken Hancock and South Pender Trustee Elizabeth Montague. Thanks go out to all the volunteers who combed the beaches and to Anne and Mike Burdette who helped with the collection and distribution of beach trash and recyclables.

PICA’s 5th Annual Beach Clean-up was held in conjunction with Stewardship Day on April 19, 2014.  One construction bin was filled with beach debris, for a total of 670 kg for 2014. This compares to 1,470 kg in 2010, the first year PICA sponsored the event, 575 kg in 2012, and 730 kg in 2013.  Thank you to everyone for scouring our beaches all year round and keeping our islands clean.

This year, in addition to the usual beach clean-up, there was a hot lunch for volunteers at the Community Hall, followed by the Stewardship Day displays and talks upstairs. Funding for the beach clean-up is provided by the CRD's clean-up fund. However, this years’ Beach Clean-up received additional funding from the Green Angels so that all the hard-working volunteers could enjoy a free lunch at the Hall.  All the volunteers also received Earth Day pins to commemorate the event.

Stewardship Committee

Pender Lake Monitoring Project: In cooperation with the British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) PICA has commenced a program of monitoring the water quality of Pender Lake (Magic Lake).  This project is being carried out by Don Peden. The initial program is to monitor the turbidity of the lake using the Secchi disc method.  Measurements are taken monthly, the data is recorded and forwarded to BCLSS for addition to its provincial data base.  Turbidity is a measure of suspended solids in the water.  These solids may be phytoplankton, sediments derived from natural runoff during heavy rains or from human activity such as construction.  Water quality monitoring is a component of the Stewardship Committee's broader program of public education concerning lakeside activities such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides on gardens and the potential impacts on water quality and the lake ecology.

Medicine Beach

PICA manages the Medicine Beach Nature Sanctuary on behalf of the Islands Trust Fund, the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  The Committee, under Graham Boffey, is responsible for monitoring the Sanctuary.

This year trail markers were installed at locations where there were unapproved secondary trails.   Repairs have been made to the viewpoint deck and the remains of a dock which washed onto the beach during a storm were removed.  PICA has a service contract with the Islands Trust Fund for emergency clean-ups and repairs.

There are plans for a new information kiosk near the parking lot to make visitors aware of the special features of the beach and the marsh behind it.  Regular monitoring of the water quality in the marsh is scheduled to begin this fall.

The Committee also participates in the monitoring of covenants and site inspections. Reports are submitted as required to the appropriate covenant holders and property owners.  If you are interested in joining the Stewardship Committee please contact Graham Boffey at 250-629-3099.

Conservation and Habitat Restoration Projects:

Hope Bay Stream Salmon Recovery Project

In 2013, rather than transporting and releasing fry into the stream, DFO staff brought over an egg incubator from the Goldstream Hatchery. On Wednesday, February 20th, 24,000 chum eggs arrived at Hope Bay by boat.  The incubator was placed in the stream just under the small bridge.  The temperature of the stream was monitored daily by volunteers.

On March 24th, the alevin were released from the incubator. March 24th was also the day when a group of volunteers planted native species along the stream and continued removing Spurge Daphne and other invasive species from the banks.  PICA received a $1500.00 grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation for salmon stream restoration, which covered the cost of the purchase of native plants to replace the invasives.

Unfortunately, this year, the Goldstream Hatchery did not have sufficient chum eggs to provide a transfer to the Hope Bay Stream Salmon Recovery Project due to problems associated with the capture of brood stock last fall.  This meant that there weren’t any eggs or fry to release into Hope Bay stream.

The next projects for Hope Bay Stream include building a weir in the stream to help reduce the speed of the stream in the spring and persuading the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to use some of the funding they have to replace the old culvert with a more fish-friendly one.   There is a lot more work to be done and volunteers are always welcome. For more information and to volunteer contact either Amanda Griesbach at 250-629-3915 or Lisa Fleming at 250-629-3132. Please go to the PICA website to read Amanda’s complete report.

Forage Fish Monitoring

PICA first became involved in forage fish monitoring in 2010. After a workshop conducted by Ramona de Graaf, in 2011, volunteers began a monitoring program focusing on Medicine Beach, taking samples during prime winter and summer spawning seasons.  Ramona did another hands on workshop in July 2012.  As part of her project on shorelines sponsored by the Islands Trust, Ramona has done considerable sampling at a number of Pender beaches that look promising as spawning sites. The exciting outcome was that in January 2014 there were positive samples for Pacific sand lance at Mortimer Spit and for winter smelt at Medicine Beach.  These little fish are a critical element in the marine ecosystem.  They are a keystone species essential to the marine food chain and web of life.  Many seabirds, larger fish such as salmon, and marine mammals right up to orcas are highly dependent for survival on these forage fish.  It was very good news indeed to learn there are confirmed spawning beaches on the Penders, and these beaches certainly deserve protection.

It is very important to continue the monitoring process in order to gain further information on the spawning of forage fish on our beaches.  This is citizen-science in action, and is good fun and rewarding for those involved.  Recently John Ruiz has taken over as team leader for the Penders.  New volunteers are always welcome.  If you are interested in learning more or taking part in monitoring sessions please contact John at 250-629-3748.

On behalf of the Board
Rhondda Porter
PICA Secretary