October 23, 2015
The Miami River Streamkeepers have enjoyed a successful and satisfying year since our last AGM held October 4, 2014. Our Society continues to operate within the framework defined in 2012 when we registered our organization as a non-profit society.
Stewardship of the Miami River and its Riparian Area remains the primary focus of the Society. Weekly “Walk and Weed” activity along the Miami River Greenway allows group members to monitor the progress of shrubs, trees, and aquatics we have planted. Invasive or noxious plants are removed. Problems involving damage to the riparian area or suspected contamination by pollutants are monitored and reported as necessary.
Water Quality Testing is done quarterly at three different sites. When testing at one site showed a lowered Oxygen level, the concern was reported to our DFO (Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans) Community Advisor. He visited our site on June 18th to investigate further. The Oxygenation level returned to normal levels following a drop in the atmospheric temperature.
Public Planting.With funds obtained through successful application for a Pacific Salmon Foundation Program Community Grant our group held a Public Planting event on November 3, 2014. 792 plants were installed in designated areas along the riparian area of the Miami River. This was a collaborative effort and our group had the assistance of the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition Restoration Crew along with members of the public.
Public Education and Involvement is an important focus for our group. To that end we liaised with our local Elementary School in funding a Salmonids in the Classroom Program this year. Funding was provided through the Pacific Salmon Foundation Grant. Our group made several visits to the Grade 2-3 split class to monitor the progress of the project. In May the students and their teacher, with the Streamkeepers in attendance, released 42 Coho salmon fry into the Miami River. This was a very satisfying and successful venture.
The Society liaised with a local child care centre to allow interested children to assist us in Storm Drain Re-marking and in delivering educational packages to residences along Miami River Drive. Our group participated in several community events, setting up an educational & information display for visitors & local residents to review. Articles from our group are published regularly in our local newspaper. These provide education and awareness of upcoming events to community residents.
A series of Interpretive Signs were designed by our group members and, in collaboration with the Council of the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, these were installed in designated locations along the Miami River Greenway. The signs have greatly enhanced community and visitor awareness of the Miami River, the Riparian Area, and factors important in promoting a healthy bio-diverse environment.
With the assistance of a local resident the MRSS has established a successful web-site which offers information and notification of events to the public.
Once again, our group hosted the local Shoreline Clean-up event at the end of September. We liaised with another community group this year (the Harrison Yacht Club) and had several members of the public attend the event.
A highlight for our group this year was a video of the group’s activities by Shaw TV’s “Go Fraser Valley” production crew. The producer accompanied group members on a “Walk and Weed” activity and interviewed several members. We were able to place links to the video on our new web site so visitors to the site have an opportunity to view it.
A hallmark of our small but dedicated group is our collaboration with numerous agencies and partners. We participate in the Salmon Stronghold Council planning meetings and set up an information booth at the yearly Fraser Valley Eagle & Salmon Festival. We attend the Earth Day educational event at a local church and have our educational booth there. The Invasive Plants Council for Fraser Valley assists us when there are large amounts of invasive plants requiring removal. This is done in conjunction with our local Council & grounds crew for Harrison Hot Springs.
We will be holding our AGM on November 14th, 2015. We look forward to exploring ideas and establishing goals for 2016. We have attracted a few new members to our group and will continue our efforts to interest others in participating.