"Committed to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"
"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"

Media Releases

Groundwater Report holds no surprises for MVIHES

BC Auditor General’s Report on Groundwater confirms Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society’s (MVIHES) worries about the gap in knowledge concerning this precious resource.

On December 1st, the BC Office of the Auditor General released its findings on the state of groundwater management in the province. It concludes that because of insufficient information, lack of protection from depletion and contamination, lack of control over access and of local authority to take responsibility for groundwater, the government is not effectively ensuring the sustainability of the province’s groundwater resources. The report recognizes that although the province is committed to improving the protection of the quality and quantity of groundwater through the Water Act Modernization process, that will not lead to new legislation until at least 2012.

Not content to wait until 2012 to get in line with other priority watersheds for attention, MVIHES has initiated a major study of the aquifers in the lower Englishman River watershed with Hydrogeologist, Dr. Gilles Wendling. With the help of many community well-owners, the Regional District of Nanaimo, the Ministry of Environment, Vancouver Island University and significant funding from RBC Blue Water Project, Living Rivers and the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Society is taking action now to understand groundwater in the Englishman River watershed.

MVIHES Project Coordinator, Faye Smith, says that the report is a huge wake-up call to start paying more attention to our water resource. It’s not just that we could put at risk our drinking water, but we could also be putting our entire ecosystem at risk if we continue to develop in places that may be important recharge areas or in aquifers that are already stressed.

MVIHES and Ministry of Environment work together for health of Englishman River

wqtraining1resize.jpgMid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) had the opportunity to assist the Ministry of Environment with water testing of the Englishman River during the low flow period . Volunteers collected samples of the river water at a number of sites 5 times over a 30-day period. On the 5th day they also scraped algae off rocks, collected benthic invertebrates in a net, measured and counted rocks and assessed the physical attributes of each site.

Water Quality Objectives for the Englishman River have been set by the Ministry of Environment and include chemical, physical and biological parameters at 6 different sites. The same sites are re-assessed every 5 years. With training from Ministry Biologist, Rosie Barlak, MVIHES volunteers were able to do much of the sample collecting this year. Other partners in the program include the Regional District of Nanaimo, Environment Canada, BC Conservation Foundation, Island Timberlands and Vancouver Island University.

MVIHES Project Coordinator, Faye Smith, believes this partnership is a win-win situation – the Ministry gets the help it needs, the information gathered complements the MVIHES Groundwater Surface Water Interaction project and the volunteers get to learn more about the Englishman River. Preserving the health of the river is everyone’s goal.

Another round of samplings will take place in October/November after the flow has increased. MVIHES will be participating then too, so anyone wanting to get involved can contact Faye on the website, www.mvihes.bc.ca.

Faye Smith, Project Coordinator
250 752 9297

How will our shoreline change as sea levels rise?

MVIHES invites you to a presentation on July 27th, by Doug Biffard, Aquatic Ecologist, and Tory Stevens, Terrestrial Ecologist, of the Ministry of Environment. They will show us changes we can expect to see along our shoreline as a result of sea-level rise. 

Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2