On September 28 and 29th, 2019 Volunteers from Pender Island and Victoria came together to work on a marine habitat restoration around Pender Island. Despite inclement weather, almost 40 volunteers came to help in the planting of eelgrass beds. They learned about the importance of eelgrass, helped sort and prepare the shoots for planting, and set basketfuls of shoots in the water for the divers to plant, while enjoying home baked treats, hot coffee, and good conversation.
Volunteers prep tubs of eelgrass for planting by Seachange divers.
This restoration work is being done as part of a partnership between the Pender Islands Conservancy Association and the Salish Sea Nearshore Habitat Recovery Project being coordinated by SeaChange Marine Conservation Society. Ann Erikson, the Gulf Islands Coordinator sent us the following message:
“Good morning eelgrass enthusiasts, on behalf of SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, the divers, Nikki, Sarah, Maria and myself, I extend an enormous thank you to every one of you for your energy and enthusiasm as volunteers at the Pender eelgrass restoration event this weekend. We had close to 40 volunteers over the 2 days, prepared and planted 1000 shoots in Otter Bay, 1571 at Medicine Beach on the outer edge of the previous planting, and 1041 in Hope Bay. A record event all around! You are all awesome.”
The Salish Sea Nearshore Habitat Recovery Project has 2 1/2 more years to go, and more restorations (on shorelines and in eelgrass beds) will be planned in four regions: The Gulf Islands, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet, and Sechelt Inlet.