Maber Flats target of restoration project

Central Saanich teams up with The Nature Conservancy of Canada for a local wetland

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the District of Central Saanich have joined forces on a land use project that will restore wetland area in Maber Flats as well as improve stormwater management and agricultural potential.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the District of Central Saanich have joined forces on a project that will see wetland restored and storm water management increased on a large property in the municipality.

The project, dubbed The Maber Flats Wetlands Restoration Initiative, will fulfill a number of goals including enhancing the ecological and recreational opportunities of the area (off Wallace Drive near the back of Stelly’s School and the Polo fields) and enhancing drainage for agricultural properties surrounding it, say proponents.

Maber Flats was originally a bog before it was drained for agricultural use years ago and is now home to over 50 species of birds including some endangered species.

It has also become a popular bird watching location.

“The restoration initiative is more than just a conservation project,” said Tim Ennis, West Coast Program Manager for the NCC.

“This is an incredible opportunity to meet a wide range of community goals such as reversing some of the habitat loss we have seen in the region, providing community recreation and education and working with local government to improve storm water management.”

The NCC will manage the southern portion of the property with the objective of maximizing the benefits to ducks, shorebirds and other wildlife and ecosystems.

The northern section of the wetland will be engineered by the District as a storm water retention facility to help alleviate seasonal flooding issues in the area and generate other agricultural and water quality benefits for surrounding lands.

Early engineering studies from the District indicate that an engineered wetland will fully alleviate spring and fall inundation of neighbouring farm land and reduce peak flows on Graham and Hagan Creeks.

When completed, the restoration initiative will create a wetland and nature reserve on the 68-acre property similar to other local nature sanctuary projects like Swan Lake and Rithet’s Bog.

“This collaborative project is an opportunity for the municipality and the NCC to showcase best practices for managing wet soils to enhance both farm productivity and habitat values,” said Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson.

“Council is working toward achieving one of the municipality’s highest storm water management priorities and seeing significant improvement in the agricultural values of neighbouring farm properties.”

The NCC and the District of Central Saanich have had positive preliminary discussions with the provincial Agricultural Land Commission about the project but approval for the engineered wetland component hinges on the ALC giving the final thumbs-up.

The NCC has begun fundraising to purchase the property and Central Saanich will contribute to the purchase, although it is not clear yet how much will be spent by the municipality.

The NCC estimates the total costs of completing the restoration and managing the property for conservation over the long term at $5.7 million.

This project will be the first significant engineered wetland undertaken by the municipality.

— With files from The NCC

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD confirms wolf sighting in James Bay

Police ask that children and pets be taken inside

VIDEO: Furry, four-legged donors make their way to doggy blood drive in Langford

WAVES and Canadian Animal Blood Bank host blood drive for dogs

Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

More than 100 frozen salmon tossed into the creek as part of ecological restoration

Colwood hosts open house on future of Royal Bay community

Event takes place on Jan. 22 at Royal Bay Secondary from 6 to 8 p.m.

WATCH: Police warn car break-ins are on the rise in Greater Victoria

Residents can ‘take precautions to make their vehicle undesirable,’ says VicPD spokesperson

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read