The year 2020 has been an unprecedented year which has seen our group adapt to circumstances that still seem to change daily. This year what needs to be recognized is the effort, the ingenuity, the attitude, and most of all the heart and dedication that the Board members and volunteers have put forward. My report is an outline of what was accomplished in the past year. Our Core Activities, even in the face of the adversity that the year posed, amazingly, but not surprisingly, surpassed the goals proposed in 2019.
The stream monitoring program achieved another successful year of gathering data for the Government of BC Surface Water Monitoring database and has increased the scope to include more frequent monitoring and more creeks. Volunteers with the well water level monitoring program worked on upgrading the monitoring equipment and sustaining the capacity to monitor water wells in Fanny Bay. Stream flow measurement was but a seed of an idea last year and has now flowered into its own program.
A key activity that was thought to be far on the horizon, the mapping of our aquifer, has started to take shape in a short time frame. This is an exciting new activity that will incorporate all of our current activities and more.
Forestry industry activities have ongoing impact on our watershed. As a way to keep us aware and educated regarding these activities, a Forestry Sub-Committee was formed. This sub-committee has taken the lead on working with the K’ómox First Nation.
With pandemic restrictions, strategic alliance building has been a challenge this year but we continue to be involved with the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership. Their monthly meetings are attended by one of our Board members.
This year a dedicated Communication Director was appointed to review the communication strategy. The website has seen a fantastic facelift with a sophisticated modern look full of content, resources and a donation option. The informative monthly articles continue in the Fanny Bay Flyer as does our FaceBook page.
The financial report will show that in 2020 the organization saw a phenomenal growth in the bottom line. BWS is supported by 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. I would like to thank the following for their support:
- The Comox Valley Regional District for their Grant-in-Aid,
- Our Fundraising Committee that is tirelessly looking for ways to raise money.
- Our volunteers; this year we tracked the volunteer hours with a tabulation that came to 1062 hours.
At our last Board meeting I asked the Board members to reflect on the year and pass on to me what the highlight was for them. Here is what they had to say:
- “How much BSW has grown up/matured since I first joined.”
- “How mature BWS has become.”
- “The collegiality and great synergy among members and the motivation to get things done!”
- “We now have a fully functioning Discharge Station measuring stream flow on Mud Bay Creek.”
- “The effort that the Board members and volunteers have put forth for the betterment of their community”
- “Working with all the people!”
In conclusion, 2020 saw the Beaufort Watershed Stewards grow from an infancy stage to full fledged adolescence. It is the commitment, perseverance, imagination and camaraderie of this group of volunteers that makes this organization the success it is today.
President, Beaufort Watershed Stewards