January 12, 2017
The Miami River Streamkeepers (MRSS) have enjoyed a successful and satisfying year since our last AGM held November 14th, 2015. Our Society continues to operate within the framework defined in 2012 when we registered our organization as a non-profit society and to achieve goals set at our AGM.
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 and any dumped materials are removed. Agassiz Elementary Secondary School leadership students participated in a Reed Canary Grass control project in May 2016. A commercial landowner contacted on stewardship practices acted upon our suggestions. Through grant monies MRSS purchased additional stewardship equipment. Several Chum salmon were observed spawning under the Harrison Hot Springs Road Bridge in early November 2016.
Water Quality Testing was done in July 2016 with our DFO (Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans) Community Advisor. He supplied new buffer solutions, electrolytes, membranes and “O” rings for our monitoring equipment. The Walnut avenue site had low oxygen levels.
Planting. No public plantings were done in 2016 as the riparian is adequately vegetated. However several donated native shrubs and trees were installed by MRSS to replace failed plants.
Public Education and Involvement is an important focus for our group. To that end MRSS, in collaboration with the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, hosted a “Healthy Environment Day” on Monday August 1st with educational & information displays for visitors & local residents to review. Exhibitors participating were MRSS, Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council, South Coast Conservation Program, Painted Turtle Recovery Program, Oregon Spotted Frog Program and WildSafeBC. Birch Grove Nursery displayed native plants that were donated for thank you gifts. Pearson Ecological led public nature walks of Greenway. MRSS updated and reprinted our brochure this year. The local paper published several articles about our work.
The series of 5-Interpretive Signs designed by our group installed in designated locations along the Miami River Greenway were cleaned. The signs enhance community and visitor awareness of the Miami River, the Riparian Area, and factors important in promoting a healthy bio-diverse environment.
MRSS maintains an active web site that offers information and notification of events to the public Articles from our group are published regularly in our local newspaper. These provide education and awareness of upcoming events to community residents. We keep in contact with our members through regular email updates.
A hallmark of our small but dedicated group is our collaboration with numerous agencies and partners. We participate in the Harrison Salmon Stronghold Council planning meetings. In November 2015 we participated in BC Nature Federation’s Fall Field Camp with a presentation and a Greenway walk with a local biologist. In appreciation an anonymous BC Nature Member donated us funds. We meet with the Earthwise Society to collaborate on riparian enhancement of the Miami River on their Golf Road farm. One of our directors presented suggestions to the Village of Harrison Hot Springs Council for improvement of the 200-block greenway path. MRSS donated three pairs of chest waders to the Harrison Salmon Stronghold.
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 with invasive plants and the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition offers advice on stewardship. The Village of Harrison Hot Springs awards us operational financing through “Grants to Groups” for which we are very appreciative.
We will be holding our AGM on January 20, 2017. We look forward to exploring ideas and establishing goals for 2017. We have attracted a new member to our group this year and will continue our efforts to interest others in participating.
President, Miami River Streamkeepers Society
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.
o Skoda Property planting October 7, 2013 – 4 MRSS members, 3 FVWC crew, & Martin Skoda / very rainy / 52 native shrubs installed
o October 11, 2013 – 10- “volunteer native plants”(potted & tended from Summer 2012 at Perrin’s) planted in 300 block by Janne
o April 15, 2014 – Karl Perrin donated and planted eight native shrubs in 200 & 300-block (one shrub subsequently removed & relocated by homeowner)
o June 23, 2014 – Rachel Drennan, FVWC coordinator, and Janne Perrin prepare plant list for PSF/CSP Grant Fall planting
o September 29, 2014 – plant 100 aquatic plants / MRSS members with the assistance of Karl Perrin’s Gardeners at Large Crew / purchased with PSF/CSP 2014 Grant funds
· HABITAT ENCROACHMENT
o December 9, 2013 Letter to James Weger, EFV Community Advisor re habitat destruction
o August 2014 – Letter to VHHS Bylaw Officer regarding concerns. Advised VHHS Riparian Bylaw only covers new development and to contact the Province. Conservation Officer followed up on concerns with home-owners
· DFO ADVISOR
o May 22 2014 – DFO appoints Bob Schaefer as CA for South Fraser Area & Eastern Fraser Valley, replacing James Weger
· PUBLIC EDUCATION:
o Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up September 29, 2013 – 16 people / VHHS loaned row boat for river use from Maple St. Canoe Launch to Ruth Altendorf Bridge / Laura Chappell with WildSafeBC & MRSS at plaza but too windy for display boards / 34 kg (75 lbs) trash collected / VHHS supplies bags, pickers, tables & tent / pre & post articles submitted by Janne Perrin published in Agassiz Observer September 27 & October 4th
o November 16th & 17th Booth at Fraser Valley Eagle Festival
o March 27, 2014 – large map of Miami River and large “living by water” posters laminated by Staples
o March 29, 2014 – participated in Harrison Health & Wellness Fair at Memorial Hall
o April 22, 2014 – participated in United Church Earth Day celebration
o June 2, 2014 – 7-minute PowerPoint presentation to VHHS Council / well received
o July 16, 2014 – Janne led Communities in Bloom judges in tour along the 300-block of the Greenway trail. Door hanger packages were given to judges
o September 27 2014 – Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup / MRSS hosts public cleanup of Harrison foreshore, lagoon and Miami River / article & photo published in A-H Observer prior to event/ 20 people registered / one boat and 2 kayaks worked in river / member of Harrison Yacht Club interested in participating in 2015/ 82 people visited WildSafeBC booth / 26 kg trash collected / VHHS delivered tables etc / Gardeners At Large returned materials & trash to VHHS works yard
·PACIFIC SALMON FOUNDATION / COMMUNITY SALMON PROGRAM GRANT
o January 13 to February 6, 2014 worked on an application to PSF/CSP Grant for Miami River Greenway project 2
o February 6, 2014 Submit Application
TOTAL BUDGET REQUESTED FROM PSF $8,056.50
TOTAL OTHER $/IN-KIND (Leveraging) $20,025.00
TOTAL PROJECT COST (PSF & Leveraging)$28,081.50
o OBJECTIVES (Results) for grant:
§ Restore & Enhance 1000 square metres of Greenway stream bank
§ Install a minimum of 2 interpretive signs
§ Conduct a fish survey, monitor water quality & release salmon fry from Salmonids in the Classroom Program
o Project Partners – Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition, Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council, Village of Harrison Hot Springs, Communities In Bloom, Harrison Elementary School, Miama Place, Sts’ailes Aboriginal Rights and Title Branch, Harrison Hot Springs Preschool & Child Care, Riverwynd Strata & Friends of the Harrison Forest
o April 9, 2014 -CSP 14S 084 PSF grant $6534 awarded to MRSS / fish survey not funded, FVWC restoration crew not funded (FVWC notified us in June they’ll donate all crew services & willow whips as inkind), office supplies not funded / 3 interpretive signs funded by PSF (one to be donated by Miama Place) / Total Value of Project now estimated at $26 984
o July 7, 2014 – Stormdrain marking and Educational Door hangers along Miami River Drive with help of Harrison Hot Springs Child Care children / photos & article published in Agassiz-Harrison Observer
o July 14, 2014 – PSF/CSP grant cheque for $6 534 received
o July 16, 3014– Fall Public Planting date Monday, November 3, 2014 agreed upon by FVWC, VHHS and MRSS
o August 11, 2014 – Chiller unit for Salmon in the Classroom Project with Ms Emsley’s Class / $1 141.91 total cost including shipping / Funded by 2014 PSF/CSP grant
o August 12 Chiller Unit arrived at Chilliwack Greyhound Depot and picked up by Janne for storage at her home until fall
o August 22, 2014- 200 copies of Salmon Steward magazine arrive by post — to be given to the Harrison Elementary School for distribution
o August 29, 2014 – dialogue with VHHS, Miama Place (Martin Skoda), biologist Jill Miners, Allan Jackson & Jane Kivett of CIB on design of 4 Interpretive Signs for Greenway
o Late August / Early September – Japanese Knotweed Treatment completed by Drinkwater Environmental Services under contract to Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council / two queries from public in response to signage
o September 26, 2014 – Janne visits Ms Emsley at HES with instructions for Salmonids in the Classroom / current classroom theme of spawning salmon / Salmon Steward magazine and Chiller Unit to be delivered soon
· NEW WEIR INSTALED VHHS
o March 28, 2014 – weir to protect sewer pipe crossing at Hot Springs Road Bridge supported by MRSS member & Biologist Ted Burns
· GRANTS TO GROUPS FROM VHHS
o November 2013 –Apply for $840.00 from Grants to Groups
o May 26, 2014 – letter from VHHS re: approved for $600 grants to groups grant / Thank you letter sent to VHHS
· WALK & WEED –
o 114 volunteer hours of Restoration area (Greenway & Cedar Ave) weeding
o September 7, 2013 to September 30, 2014 / total of 36 sessions
· WATER QUALITY TESTING (WQT), Water Quality Equipment Maintenance & Data Entry (Excel & MRSS Website)
o 26 volunteer hours
o Water Quality Testing – Nov. 24-25, 2013, May 19, 2014 & Aug.18, 2014
o Water Quality Index- Acceptable in November & May / Marginal in August
o www.miamiriverstreamkeepers.9k.com / A free site
o Webmaster Janne Perrin / 10 volunteer hours
· BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S MEETINGS
o 9 meeting held from December 2013 to August 2014 / 49 volunteer hours
o August 8, 2014 – AGM set for October 4, 2014 at 10 AM at Riverwynd
o August 2014 – Account opened Agassiz Prospera Credit Union / Signers any 2 of Janne Perrin, Barb Dramer or Mary Baxter / no service charges, subject to annual review
o September 2014 – Bank of Montreal Account Closed as service fees instated
· HARRISON SALMON STRONGHOLD /Sts’ailes Fishers Collaboration
o March 2014 – MRSkS invited to become a member of this group / Janne attends March 7, May 7 and June 18 meeting on our behalf
o Jane Kivett, MRSS & CIB member attends September 10, 2014 “Special Introductory Session for BC MLA’s” meeting / slides of MRSS activities submitted for PowerPoint Show to delegates
· TOTAL VOLUNTEER HOURS RECORDED – Sept. 7 2013 to Sept. 28 2014 / 765 hours
o Value $ 12,122,00 includes work of MRSS members, partners, and public volunteers