The Beaufort Watershed Stewards in mid 2017 was but a group of eight people who gathered together around a table to form a grass roots organization to discuss the concerns of the quality and quantity of the drinking water in Fanny Bay.
As we head into our fourth year, the organization has achieved a tremendous amount and I for one am impressed with those achievements. It is not without the dedication and hard work of the people that are involved in BWS, both past and present that we are where we are today.
Our first order of business was to come up with our mission statement:
“to promote through stewardship, a healthy watershed that sustains the quality and quantity of our water for future generations”
With that in mind the group has been busy with several initiatives. Currently, we have three hands on activities:
- the stream monitoring program, as it begins its third year, we have one set of data that has been uploaded to the Government of BC Surface Water Monitoring database
- the well water monitoring program where several Fanny Bay wells’ water levels are being checked on a regular basis.
- And the stream flow monitoring project which is in its infancy but holds a lot of promise.
Forming strategic alliances with other groups that have interest in the watershed is an important facet for BWS.
- We are currently building up a rapport with the K’ómoks First Nation. Last January two BWS Board members attended, by invitation, a half-day workshop: “K’ómoks First Nation: An Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation”
- We are involved with Comox Valley Land Trust as members of the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership. Their monthly meetings are attended by one of our Board members
A key focus for BWS is Community Outreach.
- In May 2018, we sponsored the well-attended presentation “Retaining Mature Trees in the Landscape”.
- In April 2019 we hosted our own event “Well of Plenty or Edge of Crisis”. The big success of this event is due to the dedication, planning, and organizational skills of the whole Board. Over 125 people attended to see two great speakers. A great big thank you to all of you. Of course, there were numerous other volunteers on the day of and we would like to extend a thank you to them as well.
- We have participated in local events; River Never Sleeps festival, Fanny Bay Meet Your Neighbour days
As part of our communication with the community
- We have established a website – beaufortwater.org
- Monthly articles in the Fanny Bay Flyer
On the administrative and governance side of things:
- We had a logo designed
- In November 2018 we became a registered society
- We have insurance to cover our members re: when out on activities
- We are currently working on the prioritization of our goals
On behalf of BWS I would like to thank those who have helped us financially;
- Ships Point Improvement District with their kind donation that enable us to purchase the stream monitoring equipment,
- the CVRD for their grant-in-aid for the past two years,
- BWS is a new organization and there have been many individuals who have donated time, monies and expertise purely because they believe in the cause and want to see the organization succeed. And for that reason, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to those who have donated, whether it be by way of fundraising activities, contribution in kind or as a sponsor for specific activities or items.
In conclusion, there are long term goals such as watershed and groundwater mapping but we are a small albeit dedicated group that needs to continue to expand our monitoring. And as we increase the number of our volunteers and our funding, we can expand our scope to achieve more of our goals. We’re in it for the long haul!
Beaufort Watershed Stewards