A picture entry test
Here I will provide a document that characterizes some of the benefits that riparian zones provide to the environment.
Contrarily, coarse and exposed soil means that plants are having and will have a difficult time establishing themselves. This soil may also end up in the water as it is torn away, polluting the stream. Without plants, this will be left unchecked.
Here are some ways to identify a healthy riparian zone, like the one pictured:
When there aren't patches of open soil, it indicates the riparian zone's plant life is well-established and healthy. If uncovered, then the soil shouldn't be sandy. The banks of the zone's stream should also avoid erosion, while trees should vary in size and in age.
Riparian means that something is related to wetland. This can apply to being on or near riverbanks or other freshwater sources. Because of this, the specific sort of plants found on or adjacent to streams or creeks could be described as "riparian".
For more information on OB16’s playlist, view our google document.
Here you can view a time lapse of the Bowker Creek reconstruction at Oak Bay High School.
There are a number of positive things we will gain from restoring Bowker Creek, such as the purification of air and water, controlled decomposition of wastes, improved quality of soil and vegetation, nutrient cycles, oxygen production, cultural and spiritual benefits, pollination of crops and vegetation, and reduced greenhouse gases.
-natural water channel/flow
-surrounded by wetland
-many fish/ wildlife
-First Nations derived food and fresh water from the stream
-nutrients transported from the creek, supported Oak Bay's rich ecosystem
-urban development and agriculture expanded
-stream channel was straightened, excavated, and enclosed in pipes
-lowered water levels
It's very important to maintain a natural Bowker Creek. There are many easy ways to do our part, for starters, we would have to carefully watch the growth of invasive plants. We should also watch the pH levels of the water, and not use fertilizers in our gardens, to prevent toxic runoff. Also, spreading awareness can go a long way for the creek.
Many watersheds have a base document Integrated Storm Water Management Plan (ISMP). The Bowker Creek Blueprint: The Hundred Year Action Plan to Restore Bowker Creek Watershed,; is the intiative's unique verion of an ISMP. The restoration will significantly increase overall creek health by improving water quality, habitat, and flow conveyance.
Bowker Creek's native vegetation has become strangled by the many invasive plants that grow. Willows (one of the invasive plant species in Bowker Creek)not only suppress native plants but, also clog the stream channels because of their aggressive root systems. Invasive plants outcompete native plants, hence reducing biodiversity in the ecosystems.
Due to industrialization, a lot of Bowker Creek floods during heavy rainfall, such as Trent street near St Patrick's School. To stop this issue, environmentalists are trying to increase the amount of natural habitat around the watershed, and create more storage areas for water and preventing downhill flooding by creating small ponds and wetlands.
Runoff causes water pollution because it sometimes includes debris, chemicals, and other pollutants picked up by the rain. Fluids from the roads around Bowker creek go through storm drains, and the toxins are bad for the water. We need to make sure our watershed produces unpolluted runoff to increase the creeks water quality.
Many years ago, the Bowker Creek watershed was cleared for agricultural purposes, but now urban development has led to species of wildlife leaving the area. Riparian areas are most affected because they are exposed to high flows, filter contaminants and flooding. Urban development prevents growth of tissues, and decreases vegetation and habitat.
Wooden canoes were very traditional for the First Nations communities and an important part of their lifestyles. It was so important because it made traveling over water faster and easier. The canoes were usually made out of White Pine tree, Birchbark, Spruce or White Cedar. Another use for wood was for large bonfires where traditional gatherings would take place.
There is an estimated 400,000 plants on planet Earth, and out of those more than 80,000 are edible. There are plants ready to eat all around us in nature, although many people don't know about them. They may include the berries, leaves, stems, seeds, or even the roots of certain plants.
Just kidding. this IS a playlist talking about divisive questions, but only divisive environmental ones.
Feel free to continue. this was a prank.
I felt this playlist was becoming quite serious and possibly a bit too text-heavy and stale, so here's a picture of a glorious duck to lighten the mood.
From those who see our planet as doomed to become unlivable to those who view climate change as a myth, people globally are polarized in both extremes, and in others too. While there is proof that the world won't become unlivable, and that climate change is indeed a thing, many choose simply to ignore facts in favor of ideology.
The path towards saving the environment and our society lies not in siding with one of these extremes, but by listening to science and molding our opinions around it, as it is one of the only objective forces in this divided world.
Moderation is more powerful than extremism. Have a balanced approach to things, and never disregard an argument because it is different than what you think - if you do, then you're part of the problem.
A short summary of the pollutants of Bowker Creek
A study from 2000 tested the levels of fecal coliform (such as E. Coli) in the creek and found them to be decreasing; this change was attributed to improvements made to the local sewer system.
These stellar berries can be found at the Monteith St gardens. Black elderberries contain Vitamin C, dietary fiber, flavonols, phelonic acids, anthocyanins, and antioxidants. They also can help prevent colds and flu, and have some heart benefits. Even though you can't eat them raw, elderberry syrup allows you to take advantage of all these nutrients. (recipe next entry)
A short summary of the effects pollutants have on the Bowker Creek ecosystem.
Elderberry syrup provides lots of nutritional value, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and antioxidants. As well as this, elderberry syrup is great for fighting colds and flu. Instead of buying the syrup at grocery store, you can make it yourself with the elderberries at Bowker Creek.
Most assume that we must preserve native species from their invasive counterparts, I ask, why? Is it because not doing so would endanger biodiversity? Because we brought these species here, is it somehow our moral duty to protect these creatures that cannot help themselves?
We shall find out.
A small paper I wrote about the importance of fungi and how they contribute to keeping our environment and our bodies healthy and happy.
A small paper I wrote about what fungi are, and different types of fungus.
Most of Bowker Creek's watershed is composed of impervious surfaces, which causes water to travel straight into storm drains, instead of being soaked up by vegetated areas. Storm drains are connected to bodies of water, becoming contaminated by surrounding surfaces such as automotive oil runoff that find their way to the watershed, polluting water.
Most of the berries at Bowker Creek are edible, but some are not...
This summary outlines our findings from research and testing of the Bowker Creek water quality.
A healthy habitat can benefit wildlife by there being no pollutants that could potentially be fatal. Even if it is very healthy it can have a negative impact. If there is a build up of nitrogen or phosphorus there can be a algae bloom which block natural light from getting in.
Bowker Creek has been artificially deepend/ straightened with cement and rock. Due to this, Bowker Creek has been separated from its floodplain and destroyed. Leading to, the floodplain has been converted to urban land and the creek has increased flow speed, resulting in erosion. No riparian zones are left and excess water isn't soaked up.
Unfortunately, Bowker Creek suffers from many environmental concerns, here are some of the main ones, which will been gone into further detail in the next entries:
If you have ever walked along Bowker Creek, or even just around Oak Bay, you will notice many blackberries. There are so many in fact that they are smothering the native plants. These invasive plants block out the light for native plants, causing many of them to die. Although these berries are delectable, and are very nutritional, they are interfering with biodiversity at the creek.
Many native plant medicines have been found that can treat some common colds, viruses, fevers, and even diabetes. One study counted almost 550 plants that could be used medically that some Canadian First Nations used - The plants cured close to 30 different sicknesses. Sadly the passed down knowledge of these plants is disappearing because less people are relying on the teachings to survive.
Natural plant dyes have been around for hundreds of years, and have been very helpful to many First Nations communities in Canada with dyeing clothing. There are dyes for each different colour made from a variety of trees, flowers, barks, leaves, and berries.
Deathcaps are one of the deadliest mushrooms in the world, and you can find them in Victoria. I have yet to see one at Bowker Creek but trust me, they are around. So if you do decide to go foraging, make sure you can identify mushrooms properly and always double check your finds. Linked here is a short video about deathcaps and a brief explanation on how to identify them.
Here is a small paper I wrote about coprinoid mushrooms, and how to identify different species you find around Victoria.
We have the power to slow down global warming, by making small changes in our everyday life. However, if we do not make these changes soon, it will be too late. Humans have to start making smarter choices around energy consumption and environmental awareness. The Earth needs our help, and we have the power to save it.
The Ochre Sea Star is a large creature that can grow to 30 centimetres. It can be identified by its rigid white spines, and they are usually brown, orange or purple. These huge sea stars have very few enemies and predators, but they are sometimes eating by sea birds or otters. They usually live up to 20 years.
Bowker Creek is a watershed located in Oak Bay. Our class and the Oak Bay community is working to restore the creek back to its original state. We are working on testing the creek to measure its health, and will be removing invasive plant species. The creek is a crucial ecosystem, and it is home to many important organisms.
Giant Green Sea Anemones are marine invertebrates that can grow to about 18 centimetres. They are carnivores that mostly eat small fish and crabs. These anemones have algae living inside them, but these algae do not contribute to their vibrant green color. There can be up to 14 green anemones within 3 square feet.
Sea levels are rising due to climate change, as the oceans absorb 80% of the heat. Rising sea levels are also caused by the melting of glaciers, which is changing the runoff to evaporation ratio. This has a tragic effect on coastal habitats as it will cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, pollution in the rocks and soil, and habitat loss.
Rising sea levels and flooding will soon become an issue for Bowker Creek. With glacier loss at 20-25%, less cold water enters the creek which is harmful for fish who are sensitive to temperature changes. There is also the threat of erosion as the water comes further inland, ruining habitats along the shore of the creek.
Bowker Creek is around 14-1,1500 years of age. Bowker Creek is named after John Sylvester Bowker, an American settler who came to Oak Bay in the 1860s. Bowker Creek runs from the wetland on the University of Victoria campus through the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria, and discharged to the sea through the District of Oak Bay.
Stellar Jays are one of most beautiful birds you may see. They are dark blue with a black head and shoulders. They are seen all through the North West in Evergreen Forests . Stellar Jays eat berries, seeds, nuts, and insects. Even though its winter the Stellar Jays are still out. These birds are incredibly smart and inquisitive.
This is a short video clip showing the collection of a water from the Oak Bay High section of Bowker Creek
If our conservation efforts work as we hope, the future creek will be a flourishing ecosystem full of biodiversity. However,if climate changes affects the creek we will have to take a different approach in order to sustain the ecosystem. Small things have a large impact in the future, regarding the native plant species surrounding the creek.
Bowker creek was vital for First Nations communities providing them with food, water, and transportation. It housed a marine ecosystem supported by the watershed. However, Oak Bays development in the 1900’s re-purposed the creek as a landfill. Since then, over 50% of it has been hidden by cement tunnels and affected by pollution and climate change.
Bowker Creek is a very important ecosystem to Oak Bay as it is one of the only riparian ecosystems in the community. The creek is home to many animals, such as ducks and a variety of different insects. There are many native plant species around the Bowker Creek area, and therefore it is an essential ecosystem to keep our community thriving.
Live action Disney
The Red Tailed Hawk are high on the food chain. They eat small mammals such as rabbits, mice, and other rodents. They also are able to eat some reptiles such as snakes. Their feathers are light brown, but on the bottom they are white. The easiest identifying feature is the orange-red tail feathers. Their habitats are open country place like grass fields.
The Red Sea Urchin is a creature that resembles a ball of spines. They grow to a length of about 15 centimetres, and their spikes can grow to 8 centimetres. They are identifiable by their red color, however they are very similar to purple urchins. Most Red Sea Urchins live to about 30 years, but some live up to 200 years. They often eat kelp, and are commonly eaten by Sea Otters.
The Bloodstar is a sea star that is orange in color and is part of the Echinasteridae Family. It is quite common at Clover Point. They are carnivores, and they mostly eat by trapping and eating small particle sized creatures. Blood stars usually reach 10 to 12 centimeters. They usually live up to 35 years.
There are many different ways a Riparian Zone affects streams. Along with them, Riparian Zone can reduce the risk of erosion. The roots systems of trees and shrubs reinforces cohesion into the soil and by providing a surface matting. Trees however, use the water from a stream to increase the drainage in the soil. That reduces the risk of bank failure, due to the heavy saturated soil.
Other than reducing the risk of erosion and bank failure, a Riparian zone also creates a lot of habitats and help with light getting to the zone. The debris from fallen trees creates a small ecosystem for small creatures and slows down the flow of the water. When vegetation decays into the river, it creates Tannin. Tannin, helps with getting light to the habitat. Also, the shaded created by a Riparian Zone, cools down the temperature, making it easier for cold blooded creatures to live in.
Climate Change is affecting the plants in Bowker Creek because the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is resulting in overgrowth of plants. This is because the carbon dioxide is an essential ingredient for photosynthesis. However, it can reduce the nutrition in foliage. Heat tolerant and resilient plants will thrive from climate change.
Canoes can be made from dug out Black Cotton Wood. It burns well and was used as friction to set fire. The ashes can then be used as a cleanser for buckskin clothing and hair. The resin from the buds were used for sore throats, coughs, lung pains, and rheumatism.
These berries are extremely nutritious and is very well enjoyed by the native population. They were the most important plant food to the prairie Blackfoot tribe, using both the wood supply an the fruit it self. The wood is made into arrow shafts while the fruits are used in a big variety of medicines.
Rose hips are very nutritious. the vitamin C content in them are much higher than citrus fruits. They were important in the diet of First Nations. They can be made into tea or delicious tarts.
The berries of the elder had been used as a blue dye. The leaves and the bark has been used topically for wounds, bruises, and skin problems. The berries can NOT be eaten raw but can be made in different food. The straight stems has been used as a wind instrument wherever it grew. the stem is full of poisonous pit that can be pushed out. it results in a hollow stem that is easy to work with. It can be made into blow sticks and pipes.
Bees, one of the most important insects on our Earth, are rapidly decreasing in numbers due to temperature increase. The bees are being affected because they need to travel to disappearing cooler areas to create new hives, the seasonal timing is changing due to the earlier flower blooming in Spring, and the bees are more susceptible to diseases.
The dried powdered leaves or wood has been mixed with oil used as a rub for sores and swollen joints. When crushed with water it can be used as a soap that is both effective for skin and clothes. The stem can be used in making fine coiled baskets. Wood is very strong so when it is straight it can be used to make bow and arrows.
Black Hawthorn grows at the Monteith Street Gardens. The berries contain antioxidants and some people use them to treat heart problems. They contain lots of flavonoids, which allows them to be useful in treating cardiovascular issues. Black Hawthorn is also known to reduce high cholesterol. Black Hawthorn is a small, oval shaped berry, and they have a sweet and sour taste.
Red Cedar had many many uses. It was used for a wide variety of treatments medicinally. The bark can be used to make deep rich red, brown paper, or made clothes and baskets. It was also used for roofing. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves and twigs. The wood was very widely utilized by the First Nations. They were used for houses, totem poles, canoes, to ordinary household items such as spoons and ladles.
Saskatoon berries grow along the banks of the Monteith Street Gardens. They contain antioxidants, protein, and fiber in high quantities. Also, they are considered a better source of calcium than red meats and vegetables. Saskatoon berries look very similar to blueberries, but are actually closely related to apples. They can be consumed fresh, but are also delicious in pies, tarts, and jams.
The bark of the red alder was also turned into dye. It was used for baskets, wood, wool, hair, and also skin. depended on how it's done, the colour can ranged from black to brown to orangey-red. it can also be carved into bowls and utensils.
Medicinally, Black Hawthorn is said to be used to strengthen the heart and thin the blood. the sharp thorns were used as needles and pins, or even turned in to a rack or fish hooks. the bark when burned and mix with ash and grease is turned into a concoct of black face paint for ritual purposes.
The 100 year conservation plan for Bowker Creek may be affected by climate change. As the climate warms, the summer precipitation rapidly decreases, leaving the creek at a very low water level. As a result of the water level being low, it becomes much easier for the water to heat up (and vice versa for the winter) making it harder for marine animals to live in its waters.
Other then reducing the risk of erosion and bank failure, a Riparian Zones also creates lot of habitats and helps with light penetration. The debris from fallen trees creates a small ecosystem for small creatures and slows down the speed of the river. Also, when vegetation decays into the river, it creates Tannin, which helps with light penetration.
From Flatworms to Mallard ducks to three-spined sticklebacks, Bowker Creek houses many species! But Bowker creek is still under pollution from road run-off, illegal dumping and more. This stops more sensitive-to-pollution species from living in Bowker creeks ecosystem.
How can we help Bowker Creek? Well, a start for this would be to educate yourself and learn more about th creek's ecosystem and what we can do to help. Bowker Creek is a possible home for amazing animals, these animals (such as the Coho salmon) used to live here. And they can live here again if we just clean up the creek and create a safe environment for new species.
This fish is semi-common in the Bowker creek area most measure from 4-6 cm. During the spawning season, males develop a metallic silver sheen and a bright orange or red colour on the front part of the underside.
Great horned owls are native to bowker’s creeks area. Although seeing more of them in the area would be ideal. These owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys.
Coho Salmon may also be known as the silver fish of salmon. Coho Salmon were dubbed an endangered species in 2002.
Racoons are becoming more common in Bowker Creek than ever before because of their high tolerance to pollution which is killing off the racoons predators allowing them to become more common in the Bowker creeks watershed.
Flatworms are small aquatic worms that inhabit Bowker creek. They usually feed on small bacteria, and are generally eaten by small aquatic species
Mallard Ducks are plentiful in Bowker creek, perhaps this is because Mallard ducks can live anywhere between 5-10 years. Mallard Ducks usually feed on insects, worms, small aquatic beings, and water plants.
This document will highlight the main locations along the creek for berry picking.
Salal is found in most areas around the creek. It is one the most healthy berries you can eat, even healthier than blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries. Salal contains much more antioxidants than blueberries. The flavor of these healthful berries has been described as an earthy cross between a blueberry and a blackcurrant.
Pacific Crab Apple is primarily found at the Monteith Street Gardens. It looks like a smaller version of an apple, and is also much more tart than a regular apple. First Nations were able to store these apples and make them sweeter. As well as this, they contain a lot of pectin, which allows them to easily be made into jams and jellies.
Rose hips are found at most places around the creek, and are native to BC. They contain plenty of Vitamin C, and can be used to prevent colds and flus. It is the round part of the rose plant that grows near the petals. It can be dried to make tea, and although you can eat it raw, it is not very tasty.
Thimbleberries are also natives, and they can be found at the Oak Bay section of Bowker Creek. It is very similar to a raspberry in appearance, but it is smaller and flatter. As well as this, it contains vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and iron. It can also boost your immune system.
The Three Spined Stickleback is one of the many freshwater fish. It has three spines down its back which are for defence from predators. Males have a red chest and throat while females have a silver body with brown stripes. They live in the calmer parts of rivers or streams. They eat insect larvae and fish eggs of their own species.
An introduction to what we (I) will be talking (writing) about today (whenever you read this).
Simple Answer: No.
Long Answer: Click on the link below.
As the world around us changes for either better or worse, activist groups and scientists alike compete for the attention of world governments. But what is the best way to grab the attention of these entities?
This page seeks to answer this question.
Two of these currently exist, and one of these is poised to dominate the energy of tomorrow. The real question is whether or not it will come in time to save our environment.
This page of text goes into a moderately deep explanation of some of the pros and cons of each power generation system and explains what our best course of action might be for future power generation.
Verdict: People really demonize the beef industry, so while it is bad, the damage it does is still preventable and some of the claims are genuinely false.
So, in the end, the answer would be "Partially".
This is a truly, criminally under-discussed idea. The idea of destroying a number of animals to reduce emissions in the short term and provide us with time to switch to green energy is an interesting one, and it is one that I will discuss in depth here.
Be advised that I do not condone rampant animal murder as of now - it isn't' necessary.
Verdict: It could work, and the unforeseen consequences may not be as bad as some say, but it simply isn't necessary now - the environment, while damaged, isn't yet at the stage where we need to reduce emissions so sharply that we'd be able to consider destroying animal populations, be they domesticated or otherwise.
Well, that’s it. You’ve sat down and read all of my work, or maybe you just skimmed through the entire thing to get an idea of what I wrote. Either way, thank you for your attention. I hope these entries have provided some much-needed information on some controversial, often misunderstood environmental topics, as well as asking a few downright insane (and yet, still plausible) questions.
In short, to sum up, our current environmental situation, I would put it like this:
Better than people say it is, but still bad.
The plastic problem, I fear, gets far too much attention and diverts efforts away from climate change into saving animals, which matters little in teh short term or even long term. Either way, this playlist does not exist to share my opinions, only to debate questions. I hope it has served it’s purpose, and I hope it has inspired you to question everything that you’re told - opinions are present in everything. Even a logical, rational person such as myself cannot help but fall to the vice of conviction occasionally.
Have a pleasant day, and rest easy - the world won’t end tomorrow.
I don't even need to go into a full debate to explain that "No, no we should not".
While this is an intriguing question, it is easily answered: The implementation would be endlessly difficult without nuclear weapons, and if we use those we destroy nature in the process. Not only that, but it would also result in the deaths of billions of people, and we tend to avoid doing things that result in that for good reason.
It is known that many groups of Aboriginal Peoples as well as European Settlers used native plants for medicinal purposes. In this Playlist all the plant entries are on how the Coast Salish Peoples specifically used the native plants, not how other Aboriginal groups did.
What are native plants and why are they so important? It is key to have knowledge about native plants before fully understanding their connection to the Coast Salish Peoples and Bowker Creek.
Many years ago, Bowker Creek was channeled into pipes to reduce the risk of flooding the surrounding areas. Although no more flooding took place after the creek was in pipes, the creek was no longer functioning like a healthy creek. Recently the CRD (Capital Regional District) day-lighted a section of the creek near Oak Bay High School.
Salal (Gaultheria shallon) has a astringent effect and can be used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cramping medicine. Chewed salal leaver can be spat on cuts, burns and sores to heal them. A tea made from salal can cure a variety of internal problems including bladder inflammation, heartburn and indigestion.
Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) can be made into a tea to heal numerous problems including inflamed gums, sore throats, burns, cuts, scrapes and insect bites. Galls, growths that appear on certain trees are astringent, which can be used in the treatment of hemorrhages.
This opens up a whole new can of aquatic worms. Prepare thyself.
End verdict: After much simulated debate the affirmative side is argued into a corner. The negative side wins a hard-fought victory, though if some other points are suggested this could change.
The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) has leaves which can be boiled and turned into a tea to cure persistent sore throats. The leaves can be rubbed on the faces of young men to prevent them from getting thick whiskers.
Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) is used as an external and internal remedy. A decoction can cure colds, fevers and headaches. Externally, bark shavings have been pressed to open wounds to stop the bleeding. It can also treat poison ivy rashes.
Willow (Salix) bark is used to relieve fevers and the flu as well as to reduce inflammation. It can also be used to cure headaches and backaches.
Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifloium) is an antidote for shellfish and other kinds of poisoning if you eat it is large quantities. If you boil the stems and the roots the extract acts as a remedy for skin diseases, acts as a general tonic with a reviving feeling and can be made into detergent lotion.
The Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) can heal swimmer's itch in the summer by boiling it to bath in. If you bath surrounded by the plant it is believed to have the power to make young children's legs stronger and possible even heal the paralyzed, so they can walk again. It can also be rubbed on sores, rashes and burns to heal them faster.
The Nootka Rose (Rose nutkana) has branches that are broken off and boiled to turn into eye medicine to help flush someones eye out if they could not see very well, such as if they had cataracts. It is also known to bring strength if eaten by young people during a hard time in their lives.
The Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) had leaves that could be chewed raw to ease symptoms of a bad cold and could also be made into a tea that could be drunk to help ones stomach feel better. The leaves could be rubbed on skin that was affected by rheumatism or burns to heal them.
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) can be drank as an infusion for a remedy for coughs, sore throats, and fevers. It is said to cure heart and kidney problems, arthritis, pneumonia and even tuberculous. Red cedar extract has been confirmed by modern science to have immune-stimulating effects.
Western Flowering Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) has a long history of medicine. In the past it was used to treat malaria. It can also be applied directly to the skin to cure boils and other wounds. It is said to increase strength and lessen fatigue. It can cure headaches and fevers too!
The Great Blue Heron is a species that will be in any marsh, swamp, or shallow open coastline. The Heron is a blueish gray body, with a dark blue stripe down its head. They have very long legs that they use to wait until prey swims by. They then jab their spear-like beak into the water and eat the prey whole. They usually eat fish and small mammals
The Signal Crayfish is the only crustacean in our local creek. Their habitats are anywhere with still-flowing water. Some examples are streams,creeks,lakes,and have been known to stand in salt water. These crustaceans are very invasive and if they reproduce can have a very large negative impact on any riparian ecosystem.
There are many different ways a Riparian Zone affects streams. Among them, Riparian zones can reduce the risk of erosion. The root systems of trees and shrubs reinforces cohesion into the soil and by providing a protective surface matting. Also, trees use the water from the stream to increase the drainage in the soil, which reduces the risk of bank failure.
Golden chanterelles are popular edible mushrooms. The main reason why they do not grow around Bowker Creek is because chanterelles like forested area, and moist undergrowth with lots of organic decaying matter. They also like to grow underneath salal. Bowker Creek doesn't meet these requirements.
These are hare’s foot inkcaps. They are common garden mushrooms that have delicate caps with edges that turn upward with age. They have hollow, frail stalks so they usually last no longer then a day or two. Their gills are very thin and spaced out, with inky black spores. They can be found growing in soil, wood chips, or leaf litter.
These are flat-topped agaricus. They were growing in Monteith riparian ecosystem, underneath dogwood and blackberry, in a shaded, damp area. They have gills, which are free from the stalk and slightly pink. Their stalk is mostly white, with a thick base and a ring. Their cap is tan and has small, brown “scales” that radiate outward from the middle.
Chitons are a type of Mollusc that are common around Victoria. Chitons are usually covered by a shell that consists of 8 plates. They move around using a muscle commonly referred to as the foot. There are many species of Chitons with sizes ranging from 1 centimeter to 30 centimeters. They are commonly found at beaches and in tide pools.
The Brittle star is a creature that is closely related to the sea star. They often eat plankton, small crustaceans, and worms. There are about 1500 species of Brittle star and they are around 500 million years old. Brittle stars are able to easily regenerate lost limbs, sometimes using this ability to escape predators.
The Sculpin is a small fish that belongs to the Cottidae Family. There are around 300 species, however the ones found on Victoria beaches are quite small. Some Sculpin can reach 25 pounds! They usually live to 7 years. They mostly eat small fish, crabs, and worms. Sculpin do not have scales, they have smooth skin covered with small rigid spines.
The Umbrella Crab is a small crab with a unique shaped shell, Its carapace can be any color from gray, red, orange and purple. They usually grow to 5 to 10 centimeters. They are carnivores and mostly eat algae and small organisms. The Umbrella Crab is perhaps the rarest creature on this playlist, and very few people have found them in Victoria.
The obscene character limit for these segments means that I will be largely explaining myself in the actual text document, however, I can provide a recap here. So I will:
Verdict: Plastic is harmful to some marine species, but only kills a small number of them each year,
Not only that but they have not been proven to damage either humans or plants.
The Mallard Duck is always a constant visitor anywhere along a marsh or wetland or a ocean. Males have a dark green head and a yellow bill. Females are brown with blue feathers under their Wings. They eat the seeds of aquatic plants, seeds, stems, and insects when they are young. A great place to see them is at Beacon Hill Park or Bowker Creek.
Bowker Creek is currently under a 100 year restoration plan to return it to its former glory. And while this plan is well underway we still have a constant problem of pollutants. Such as illegal dumping, unfiltered storm water, and chemicals that roll in from off our roads.
The red rock crab is a species of crustacean that resides in the Pacific Ocean. It is commonly found at willows beach and most other beaches in Victoria. They are carnivores and mostly eat barnacles, smaller crabs, and dead fish. They can grow to be about 15 centimeters and must molt to grow.
This video created by the Seattle Art Museum gives a great insight into the lives of 'People Of the Salish Sea' also know as the 'Coast Salish Peoples'. This group has a great connection to the ocean and the waterways that lead there, as water brings life to all!
In this time lapse video, the first major steps of Bowker Creek's Reconstruction are completed. At the end of the video, note the many native plants have been planted.
The Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) has needles that are a great source of Vitamin C as well as has sticky pitch that can be used as a salve for wounds. Young sprouts can be used as a infusion for treatments of colds and has resin that can be chewed to heal sore throats.
This is a short video created by the Capital Regional District about the Bowker Creek Blueprint (a 100-year action plan to restore the Bowker Creek Watershed). In this video you will see how much the community came together to begin to restore Bowker Creek, a shared wonder in the Victoria area.
Who are the Coast Salish Peoples? In this article one will learn basic background information about the Coast Salish Peoples that will further ones understanding of how they use the Bowker Creek native plants for medicinal uses.
These are common inkcaps. They are found all throughout parts of Europe and North America. Their caps are a tan brown, their stalk is white, and they have tightly spaced gills with an abundance of inky black spores. Pretty much all inkcaps have gills that liquefy with age. They like to grow on old logs and stumps.
Indian Plum is a BC native that is commonly found at the Monteith Street Gardens. It looks like a miniature plum, hence the name Indian Plum. First Nations uses include tuberculosis treatment, healing promotion, and food sourcing. Indian Plums are edible, but may contain hydrogen cyanide, so be careful not to overeat.
According too the CRD's scale for drinking water, this rating of 7.4ppm is acceptable and healthy for a freshwater creek such as Bowker.
Climate change is a shift in the global climate pattern caused by more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Increased carbon dioxide is caused from the burning of fossil fuels to create energy. Environmental issues are forming due to this change in atmospheric carbon dioxide.This issue needs immediate attention before it spirals out of our control.
The Player Piano brought this production to life
This video shows an RBCM staff member panning for gold in our Becoming BC Gallery.
Panning is often how a prospector tests a potential site for its capacity to produce gold. But how exactly does this process work? Find out more at: https://www.wikihow.com/Pan-for-Gold
Item : CVA 1477-1409-[Woman panning for gold]
This resource, created by the Hul'q'umi'num Treaty group, is a guide to the Hul'q'umi'num alphabet.
On July 30, 2018 the Crossing Cultures and Healing pole was brought on site to the Royal BC Museum. This is where Tom and Perry LaFortune will continue to carve the pole until it is completed in October.
Intertwined among the different figures, Tom and Perry are carving in a rope. This represents the rope that the Saanich people used to tie themselves to a tree on the mountain during the great flood. It helped keep their people together and safe. It was also in this story that they began calling themselves "the emerging people".
The raven is the figure on top of the pole as they are the messenger of good news for the Tsawout and Saanich people. The raven received this title as it was a raven who brought the Saanich people the news that the great flood had ended.
The owl, in the Tsawout culture, is an all-seeing being. They are able to see into the past, future, and present, that is why they can rotate their head. Tom and Perry chose to include the owl in this piece, as the theme of "Crossing Cultures and Healing" requires us to reflect on the past and present to instill change and healing for the future.
Once the pole has been prepped, Tom and Perry begin the initial shaping. This creates the general shape of the pole's figures and design. This is done using chainsaws.
Perry is shown measuring his sketch for the woman design. Perry explained the math that goes into their poles, as they measure their designs to scale.The woman is a symbol of the Tsawout Nation's matriarchal ways and represents Perry and Tom's mother. She is a symbol of strength and resilience for them as she attended residential school.
While watching Tom and Perry sketch the frog design onto the pole, you were witnessing their strong connection and unique work ethic that comes from years of working together and their brotherly bond. They would pass the pencil back and forth, each adding in their own style with their individual talents.
When doing the initial shaping on the pole, Perry asked Tom to come and see an idea he had. He noticed there was an empty space in their design and Perry had the idea to add a frog, a symbol of the conscience to the Tsawout Nation. Tom agreed with Perry and they began sketching a frog design onto the pole.
To make sure they are cutting in a straight and even line across the pole they use a chalk line. This helps them know if they need to adjust their grip or height.
In order to saw around the whole circle they use a mechanical jack to lift and rotate the log.
In order for the pole to have the proper dimensions, Tom and Perry had to measure a circle on both sides of the log and then use a saw to cut off the excess wood.
Crayfish are small shrimp-like crustaceans that are usually 6-9 inches long. They have a segmented body, with variations or different sandy colours. Crayfishes ideal habitats are lakes, rivers, springs, or seasonally wet habitats such as roadside ditches. Sometimes they will live in dry areas. They spawn in late summer, or early fall or spring.
Leeches have soft but muscular bodies with two suckers, one on each end. Colouring varies, but usually tends to be darker with blotches, stripes, or spots. Average size is around 50 mm long. They prefer to live in shallow streams, creeks, or lakes. Leeches reproduce individually, they can all produce eggs which they attach to a surface underwater.
The chum salmon live most of their lives in the ocean, but migrate to spawn from June to August. When in the ocean their colouring tends to be a silvery blue green with unclear spotting, when in fresh water their colour changes to a dark olive green and their belly colour darkens. Their ideal spawning habitats are rivers and streams, near springs.
The three spined stickleback is a small fish with three spines on its back. It has a greenish olive colour with a large black eye. Their preferred fresh water habitat are well vegetated sheltered bays, or quiet rivers with a sandy or muddy bottom. They eat small crustaceans, worms, insect larvae, and fish larvae and eggs even from their own species
Cutthroat trout vary widely in size from 6-40 inches long. They have a golden greyish green colour with pink markings. Cutthroat tend to live in smaller habitats. They require cold, clear, well oxygenated, shallow rivers with gravel bottoms or cold, deep lakes, and healthy stream-side vegetation. Coastal cutthroat are highly predatory.
Water qualities temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphate, and nitrate are acceptable to support aquatic life. Native plant species reintroduced, helps slow erosion into the creek. Native and non native plants create shade for organisms for protection from the sun. Some curves in the creek pathway have created places for organisms to live.
A possible outcome could be a very positive one with having lots of animals come back like cutthroat trout, frogs, more birds and the creek being in a very healthy condition. Which will be a great outcome
Colquitz creek has salmon. Craigflower creek has salmon. Millstream creek also has salmon. What's different in bowker creek then these other creeks is that they are clean enough that salmon actually have resources to live off of.
We need a healthy watershed to have healthy animals, with a healthy watershed we will obtain healthy animals so that requires good water quality. We need to make sure we have healthy keystone species that will stay for some time otherwise are ecosystem will always be changing.
The pollution levels need to drop quite a bit for the fish to get a healthy living area. The levels of rain that builds up needs a draining system to make sure that it won't flood over in any way so the fish won't have the risk of being wiped out by a flood.
We can restore river otters back in a couple of ways i found this article
online about a river otter restoration in New Mexico. It would take a lot of efffort and work with changing the waer quality and making sure that they have a wide variety of prey to feed on and a variety of aquatic plants for the otters to eat.
Once we have tackled the necessary conditions for salmon to live in Bowker Creek, keeping them here is the next challenge. To preserve the run, a great deal of education must go into the community, and the emphasis on not littering. There must also be occasional clean-ups, to block any dams that have formed and may block the path of the salmon.
Bowker Creek current water quality: Temperature: (average) 12 degrees celsius. Dissolved oxygen (average) 8.25 ppm. pH: (average) 6.5. Phosphate: (average) 0.25 mg/l. Nitrate: (average) 0.37 ppm
Temperature: bellow 12 degrees celsius. Dissolved oxygen: greater than 9 ppm. pH: between 7 and 8. Phosphate: below 0.25 mg/l. Nitrate: below 1 mg/l.
Turbidity relates to the sediment in the ground - cloudiness, means more particles. These pieces can get trapped in the salmon's gills and suffocate them. In Bowker Creek, the issue is the soil on the side of the banks. Turbidity or haziness in the water can cause many hazards, like suffocating the fish and their inability to see clearly.
Although our plan for Bowker Creek may seem ideal, there are flaws that we must address before beginning the project. One being, the issue with excess stormwater contributing to the creek's water volume, and because there is plenty road runoff emptying into Bowker, the dirty water affects the turbidity and the salmon cannot withstand the haziness.
The best way to maintain the creek as we know it is more of what we are seeing now, which is having students and community help to eliminate invasive plants and harbor native ones.
Adult coho need a clear route to their spawning to lay their eggs. Bowker creek is 60% underground and the network of tunnels through which the creek flows would limit if not block salmon access to estuaries, meaning Bowker Creek is currently unsuitable for supporting a salmon run. View the next slide for a visual.
Maintaining the Bowker Creeka area won't and hasn't been easy, but it is possible and essential that it happens. We, as a school and a community need to take action and keep this creek as healthy as possible, and I'm sure we will. This creek is a prime example of how powerful of a force a good and motivated school can be. Thanks for watching.
The final way to maintain the creek is to create a strong relationship between the school and the creek, because believe it or not, if the students have a connection with the creek, they will take good care of it and teach others to.
We can also maintain our creek's ecosystem by picking up garbage (or not throwing in there in the first place).
In the 60's and 70's the philosophy was water management, (storm drains all lead to the creek to reduce flooding) and the philosophy now is to have something with ecological and educational value to the school and community.
The restored Bowker Creek area is an asset to Oak Bay High school, in that it includes a beautiful outdoor classroom and easily accessible ecosystem to study.
Native plants provides habitat, food and survival needs to humans, animals, and plants. They use less resources, and store bigger amounts of carbon therefore creating better air quality. Native aquatic plants protect aquatic wildlife, and come as a source of food. They also drive invasive species away.
There are 3000 species of native plants in BC. Compared to that, there are only 175 recorded invasive plants in the province. However, having a low number of species doesn't mean there are low numbers of plants. Invasive species have an overwhelming amount of each species, which is why there are so many of them.
Many Parts of Bowker Creek’s water quality are preferable to salmon, such as temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen. It’s nitrogen and phosphate levels should be lowered, but the problem comes with ammonia - a toxic substance bowker creek has too much of. Here is a document detailing the preferred water quality levels for coho salmon.
In order to lay her eggs (called roe), the female salmon uses her caudal fin to dig a shalow hole in the bottom gravel (a redd) to create a low-pressure zone where her eggs can incubate. The female covers the eggs by disturbing the gravel at the upstream edge of her redds. She may make seven redds for her ~5000 eggs.
For our full bibliogphy, please read the document below.
Our final plan to restore Bowker Creek's salmon is based around restoration: restoring the watershed, changing the flow of the river, creating suitable gravel, providing salmon food, reducing levels of ammonia, daylighitng parts of the creek, and reducing turbidity. While a huge project, it would result in bringing salmon back to Bowker Creek.
In 2011, Spanish banks took on a project restoring its salmon run. The stream had become blocked, and parts were hidden underground. but after clearing the dams, daylighting parts, and restoring natural vegetation, the salmon returned. The story is similar to Bowker Creek - urban devlopement hurt the salmon run, but shows that it can be fixed.
We have concluded that Coho salmon are the ideal species to inhabit a restored Bowker Creek. They were one of the only salmon species present in early Bowker Creek, a high water flow tolerance means that they would be adapted to Bowker's high flow. Coho salmon are endangered, so reestablishing this salmon run may also save the Coho salmon species.
Coho salmon is the salmon species that we have decided would be a perfect fit to restore the Bowker Creek salmon run. Coho salmon are native to the west coast and are one of the original species that was historically part of the salmon run through Bowker Creek. Here is an image of a Coho salmon and how to identify the native fish.
This document details the process, and purpose of our inquiry and the initial thoughts that lead us to research what would enable the restoration of a healthy salmon run in Bowker Creek.
A main focus of the Bowker Creek Initiative is to connect the community, which will be greatly impacted by the salmon. Having such an important species nearby allows for learning oppertunities, and having a place where you can actually see these creatures creates an oppertunity for people to learn about how their actions impact living creatures.
The CRD 100-year blueprint is an incredible asset into the return of salmon into Bowker Creek. Focusing mainly on watershed, the action plan for Bowker Creek is to restore it to the pristine conditions it once had. Putting emphasis on community connections, the Bowker Creek Intitative is working to create a salm-friendly habitat once again.
The primary focus of the Bowker Creek Initiative is to improve the Creek’s watershed (divide of runoff into water bodies,) because the excess water from storm drains in Bowker Creek is compromising the creek’s habitat qualities in several ways.
In order for the organisms of Bowker Creek to survive and flourish, they have to know their environment. So what are the habitats of these organisms? Link: https://splice.gopro.com/v?id=6NNxMj
Some examples of aquatic native plants are: pondweed, water shield, arrowhead, and water pepper. They can increase water clarity by helping stabilize sediments. They help the environment because the are resistant to invasions opportunistic exotic plants. native aquatic plants are important food source for many animals (ducks, geese, etc). They are used as nests and den-building materials for many birds and mammals. Young fish and amphibians use native aquatic plants as protection. Native aquatic plants provide livable habitat for aquatic insects, snails, and crustaceans.
The second year was the year of planting all of the native plants we see today. Said plants contribute to the ecosystem in many positive ways.
Native plants store carbon dioxide better than invasive species. They adapt better to the surrounding environment conditions. Native plants require less resources to survive (such as water and soil) therefore making it beneficial to the environment.
This film depicts Bowker Creek with a medium level of pollution in the water
In Conclusion, as we have seen in many examples of successful stream restorations, more needs to be done to significantly change the ecosystem than just improving the water quality. With improvements in water quality and other aspects we could bring back coho and chum salmon as well as cutthroat salmon back to Bowker creek.
It will take a few years, but it is completely possible to bring back species to the creek. Once there has been a complete clean-up of all water deposits in the creek, there can be further work for species. A controlled spot for spawning salmon would be a great challenge to be able to see salmon run through the creek again.
Besides water quality there is many other factors that influence the ecosystem in bowker creek. In bowker creek some factors that affect the ecosystem are how much of the creek moves through pipes, the faster flow rates at parts of the creek, and pollution density in parts of the creek.
With an improvement to water quality in Bowker creek many animals which used to live in Bowker Creek like coho salmon could come back to the creek. As well as cutthroat trout and chum salmon. In addition, more birds would continue to revisit the creek and it would then become a more diverse region of marine life
It's always a great idea to have the community push for clean streams as it has a strong influence on the government. Some things you can do to help are: Picking up garbage (yes it is gross) and putting in proper disposal. No dumping of cigarettes or other garbage into stream. And no disposing of oil or oil byproducts
There are a nearly endless lists of things to help the creeks clean up but a few of them are: Filtration of storm drain before it’s released to a water source. Stop illegal dumping and littering. And reduce sediment from streets into the creek especially from construction sites
The creek is also home to these unpleasant creatures. Known commonly as a Leech, this creature consumes the blood of its prey by latching onto it with its Anterior and Posterior sucker. Leech bites do not hurt and are actually used for medical purposes in some places. Uses like healing wounds and unblocking clogged blood veins
Bowker Creek is full of these little creatures called Platyhelminthes, better known as “Flatworms”, these creatures feed on Protozoa and Bacteria and are generally consumed by a variety of small species including Spotted Mandarin and Yellow Wrasse.
Bowker Creek is a slightly polluted stream, being home to a few select resistant species. One of which, is the Three-Spined Stickleback. The Three-Spined Stickleback has a higher tolerance to pollution than most smaller fish. This organism proves to be a food source for many of the creeks inhabitants
Year number one was the year of planning, where students and staff alike came together to design the area based on what the school thought would be an asset.
Bowker creek at this time can only support smaller, more toxicity resistant organisms. A variety of small fish, leech, worms, parasites, insects and other little species thrive here.
Bowker Creek has had issues with the sewage system in the past as it follows the sewer line (as seen in the diagram above). Spills have a huge impact on water quality; high levels of nitrogen, phospherous and ammonia are associated with waste. To restore salmon, the stream needs to have a barrier preventing this, as seen in the current CRD plan.
We can tell a creeks polluted because of bio-indicators, and obvious signs of pollution. First bio-indicators are animals that help us determine how polluted water is because some animals can deal with more pollution than others. Judging by the species of aquatic life in the creek tells us its pollution levels
We took the time to analyse the water quality of Bowker creek as of late November.
Bowker creek is old creek in Oak Bay and some parts of Victoria from around UVIC and flows into the ocean at willows beach. It once meandered through forests, meadows, and grasslands. As well salmon used to spawn in the creek and it provided food for the First Nations people in the area
Although now the creek is heavily controlled where about 70% of the creek is in pipes. In recent years, there have been efforts to restore and bring back a cleaner creek. The limits of the restoration are visible alongside Oak Bay Secondary School
Bowker creek is old creek in Oak Bay and some parts of Victoria from around UVIC and flows into the ocean at willows beach. It once meandered through forests, meadows, and grasslands. As well salmon used to spawn in the creek and it provided food for the First Nations people in the area.
Part of the 100-year plan is to restore native vegetation on much of the creek corridor. The aim is to recreate the original creekside with as little influence from native plant species as possible. This will help create a better envrionment for food sources. Here is a stetch that has been made of possible creek bed conditions on Shelbourne Road.
Restoring the vegetation on the creek bank would contribute to the creek’s marine biodiversity and provide more food supply to help support salmon populations. This is because the decaying plant matter that ends up in the creek could be consumed by the stream invertebrates which act as food for juvenile salmon (alevins.)
When in freshwater, coho salmon feed on plankton, insects, and larval invertabrates, but swtich to a diet of small fish upon entering the ocean. To regain these fish, Bowker Creek needs to have conditions to support populations of plankton, invertabrates and insects - such as stable water quality and ample food. Here are examples of such sources.
Currently, a restoration process is taking place in Bowker Creek. The goal is to bring back the naturality of it, and hopefully bring back some species that once roamed those waters. Here is a video explaining the restoration!
A majority of Bowker Creek is underground, this could alter the possibility of sustaining plankton or zooplankton in the creek as they use photosynthesis to create food and would need to live in open areas of the creek where sunlight is available. As for aquatic insects, Bowker Creek is riddled with them! Aquatic insects would not be an issue here!
The Chum and Coho Salmon have a very similar diet. They both feed on aquatic insects and plankton, however, the Chum Salmon specifically feeds on zooplankton rather than Chum Salmon that eats all and any plankton available.
My peers have created a playlist going into further detail on how to get the salmon back! I highly recommend you check it out!
I calculated the statistics between both the salmon types and determined a shared level of tolerance/necessity of each category. Above is the information displayed in a chart I created.
Here is a video of Chum Salmon spawning! A hopeful result we can achieve in Bowker Creek!
Above is a chart comparing the tolerance and necessary amount of different molecular substances found in the creek. This table is able to tell us that the water quality of Bowker Creek is not yet able to sustain Chum Salmon.
This is a small paper I wrote explaining what requirements a creek or freshwater stream must meet to create a sustainable habitat. I also further explain what all the requirements are and how they help the creek and it's inhabitants!
Over the years we have altered the Salmon's natural habitat. It is no longer a natural creek. We have manipulated every twist and turn of the creek and now it is not a natural or sustainable environment for Salmon. In south Oak Bay, we have essentially created a big drainage ditch with the giant cement wall lining the creek.
Bowker Creek’s gravel doesn't meet salmon spawning requirements (read pdf) The surface has large stones that would be difficult to move and an underlayer that is fine and densely packed. To make the gravel bottom suitable for roe, about 8 cm of new gravel would need to be added to the creek’s floor to meet coho spawning criteria.
The first five seconds of this clip shows a female salmon using her caudal tail to dig her redd. You can watch on to for an enhanced understanding of the salmon-incubation/maturing.
The 100-year vision for Bowker Creek’s layout shows an almost completely daylighted creek going as far as Mackenzie Road and would be suitable for supporting the travel of salmon from the ocean, The creek’s design will also benefit the water quality and turbidity, making it the first crucial step to making Bowker Creek a salmon-friendly habitat.
This is a diagram of Bowker Creek’s current state. The blue lines represent the distance of the creek that is above ground and the dotted lines indicate underground waterways including the underground passage of the creek and the storm
This is a diagram of a salmon's life cycle. Salmon are anadromous meaning they hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to the freshwater to reproduce. The creek would act as a habitat for spawning and unmatured salmon, meaning that Bowker Creek would have to meet several criteria in order to be habitable for salmon alevin and fry.
Students from the Sc 9 Discovery class helping to spread mulch down to keep reduce the spread of invasive plant species.
what exactly are we talking about? our driving question is "How do native plants effect the ecosystem?" Why are they so important to not only us but to many animals too? why do we depend on them so heavily, and what benefits do they give to the whole ecosystem as a whole?
Symbiotic Relationship between Native and Invasive Plants
invasive plants affect the health and population of native plants and benefit the environment by keeping native plant's numbers in control by feeding off of native plants. (creeping buttercup: ranunculus repens)
Above you will see the tolerance levels of the Coho Salmon compared to Bowker Creek's levels. The levels above are the maximum amount of levels that a Coho Salmon can tolerate.
The idea to restore Bowker Creek began to bloom several years ago.
If and when the Coho Salmon return, we hope that the millions eggs they lay will not be harmed so the Salmon community can thrive once more in Bowker Creek.
The categories in the photo are the essential conditions and molecular substances needed in a thriving aquatic environment. To the right of them are the levels and amounts of these substances Bowker Creek has. (ppm = parts per million)
The creekbed took a lot of design, research and thought. These curves benefit smaller creatures, by providing small areas for them to find shelter from the current. This supports more life in the stream. When the water rises, it flows in a predetermined way, purposefully designed for better flow and to reduce plant uprooting.
There were two main types of Salmon that inhabited Bowker Creek; The Chum Salmon and the Coho Salmon. Above you will see a photo I created showing you the two different types of Salmon, male and female.
If salmon were to return to Bowker Creek, they would not only help the creek to reach a climax community, they would increase Bower Creek's connection to the community. Having salmon would make more people interested in helping with the restoration and learning about Victoria's ecosystems.
Nitrates get into Bowker Creek through garden and road runoff containing plant fertilizers. As there are few nitrate free fertilizers, a way to reduce the nitrate levels in the creek would be to control the amount of fertilizers used near the creek. If this problem were to be fixed, there could be enough dissolved oxygen for salmon.
Could the salmon get through the tunnels at Bowker Creek? Most of the tunnels would be easy for the salmon to swim through; the only problem would be the sloped tunnel under Fireman's Park. The angle of the tunnel would prevent salmon from swimming up it. For salmon to swim through the creek, a small fish ladder must be put in this tunnel.
The planning of Bowker creek's plants was very thorough, as it needed to be a) aesthetically pleasing, b) Help filter toxins out of the water and c) discourage invasive plant growth.
One of the conditions of Bowker being renovated was that Oak Bay High school would need to take some responsibility in the maintenance and use of the surrounding area. This led to the creation of the outdoor classroom, which is essentially an amphitheater. Its main use is for quick meetings centered around ecological topics.
Bowker Creek before any kind of restoration
To begin the restoration, the existing plants needed to be removed. Many invasive species of bramble and blackberry bushes were destroyed, leaving a barren riverbed.
Native plants help use less pesticides. It is said that over 70 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns in a year. These chemicals run off into rivers and lakes, causing a big problem with clean water and aquatic life.
many people chose to plant native plants when starting a garden because of the benefits they provide. Native plants develop their own defensive systems, driving away pests, diseases as well as invasive plants. This is why people choose to plant native.
Native plants, as well as being low maintenance, can provide many benefits to the ecosystem. It creates vital habitat for important wildlife. Plants like the ocean spray (grown in victoria) gives us beautiful scenery which we value and protect.
Humans, depend on plants for regular things we take for granted everyday. Clothes, building materials, paper, perfumes, cleaning supplies, and medicines. Without the native plants to provide us these products, human economy and life would not be as we know it today.
Once the plant life was removed, excavation began to create the slope that exists, as well as the shaping of the curves in the new river.
There is too much nitrate and not enough dissolved oxygen for salmon. The abundance of nitrate contributes to the lack of D.O. One of the reasons for all the nitrate is probably fertilizers from road runoff and gardens, which is full of nitrate. If the nitrate levels could be decreased, the D.O. would increase, and maybe be able to support salmon.
Birds play a huge role in the Bowker Creek ecosystem. From ducks and crows to hawks and owls, birds are prey, predators, and scavengers. But there's one thing all birds have in common - their wings. So what are some of the adaptations found in bird wings?
The addition of salmon would have a large impact on the ecosystem. Although adult salmon don't eat while breeding, the babies would eat insects, plankton, and invertebrates. Animals like raccoons, herons, hawks, and eagles would eat the dead adult salmon. The salmon would create a more stable and diverse community in the creek.
Barred Owls are malevolent predators and majestic fliers, thriving in many different environments. Bowker Creek hosts a family of three Barred Owls; a mated pair their offspring. These birds of prey flourish in the Bowker Creek ecosystem, providing enough food for themselves and their family. So what allows them to prosper?
Mallard Ducks are very abundant in Bowker Creek. They are well adapted to life there, using their webbed feet to swim through (and sometimes under) the water. Females and chicks have brown-black camouflage in order to blend in with their surroundings. The mallard's bill is flattened out and well suited for filter feeding in creeks and lakes.
For salmon to be able to swim through the tunnel under Fireman's Park, a fish ladder would have to be installed. The fish ladder that would be put in Bowker Creek would not be as complicated as the one in the video below, as this is just a short tunnel, not a dam.
Salmon return to their birthplace to breed. The breeding pairs lay their eggs and die soon afterwards. Once the young salmon are old enough, they swim out to sea. After a few years they return to their first home and repeat the cycle. Here is a diagram of the salmon life cycle.
Bowker creek runs from south Oak Bay, to Uptown, Saanich, and back. Bowker Creek is approximately 2500 years old and originally home to lots of Salmon, but sadly not anymore. Above you will see a map. The thinner blue line is Bowker Creek, the thick blue line is its Watershed boundaries.
Before Bowker was subject to urbanization, it supported Chum and Coho salmon. The salmon were a very important part of First Nations' culture, not only for food, but also for roles in their stories. It's a shame that most of the history of the creek has been lost and isn't known anymore. The salmon could bring back the connection to the past.
Barred Owls are well adapted to hunting in the trees. Their large wingspan cushioned by softened feathers allows for easy flight with little noise. Barred owls also possess the unusual ability of walking (or hopping) by coordinating the movements of their wings and feet. Exceptional sight and hearing helps the owls find their prey easily at night.
Great Horned owls are native to BC and its forests. They're nocturnal predators, using serrated wing edges and softened feathers to silently ambush their prey. Their raised ears can rotate to pin down the exact location of their quarry. Though only weighing 3 pounds, their powerful legs and sharp talons let them grab prey that weights up to 10lbs!
Found in the Kings-Haultain Rd section of Bowker Creek, Red-Tailed hawks are expert hunters. They have amazing vision, allowing them to see prey from far away. They're extremely lightweight; the largest birds (females with a wingspan of 133cm) only weigh 3 pounds! Their large size gives them the strength to take down bigger prey than other raptors.
Black Medic is a very invasive plant. It's a winter annual plant - it grows through spring, distributing its seeds in late summer. The original plant then dies, and the seeds germinate during the winter. The Black Medic's roots host nodules of N-fixing bacteria, allowing the plant to feed directly on Nitrogen, ensuring constant food and growth.
Rusty Crayfish are an invasive species that can be found in the creeks, ponds, and rivers of BC. These crayfish spawn prolifically, and can destroy much of their habitat's vegetation during breeding season. Their eggs are carried under the female's tail, keeping them safe; a feature which has allowed their species to spread rapidly.
Three-spined sticklebacks are an amazing species with the ability to interbreed at an almost alarming rate. They produce an astounding amount of sub-species, all with slightly different physical traits to pass on to the next generation. So how do they do it?
Three-Spined Sticklebacks possess the ability to evolve remarkably quickly. Their species is a master at adaptive radiation, producing over ten new variations in less than 20,000 years - a mere blink of an eye in the ordinary evolution timeline. These fish frequently interbreed, producing stable and healthy offspring, ready to foster new species.
Sword ferns have multiple adaptations to help them survive in their natural habitat. Instead of having trunks, sword ferns have rhizomes - flexible branch-like appendages that hold their fronds. These ferns also have spores, which are housed on the underside of each frond. These spores can travel for miles in the wind and are released in billions.
The big leaf maple is the tallest maple in Canada, specially adapted to life in the forest. It’s narrow crown is supported by a large, branchless stem, ensuring it stays upright during the Canadian winter. It’s seeds are distributed in pairs, each with twin wings that carry them, twisting and turning, down from the canopy and into new territory.
Blackberries are so specialized to invasion, they’ve developed two different ways to spread. The first is by seeds, which are distributed through their fruit. These seeds are eaten by animals, and then return to their environment after being excreted. The second is through runners, which grow at the end of one year and produce a new plant the next.
English ivy is specially adapted to spread throughout their environment. Their roots release a substance that sticks to the surface the ivy wishes to climb, and small suction-like discs grow from the main stem to keep the ivy secure. English ivy’s roots spread sideways instead of up and down, gathering nutrients on the move.
Native thistles like the blessed milk thistle have evolved spines on their leaves and flowers to discourage animals from feeding on them. These plants also produce over 6000 seeds annually, with each flower growing more almost 200! The plants can tolerate high winds and cold temperatures, and are well suited to life in Victoria.
This is a map of the entire Bowker Creek watershed.
Bowker Creek has always been a great resource for students and citizens to learn and observe, but it hasn't always looked this good.
This is a chart that compares the water quality of Bowker Creek to the water quality necessary for salmon. As your can see in the chart, there is too much nitrate in the water and not enough dissolved oxygen necessary for salmon.
Why were medicine bottles often textured? Camilla Cyr used a simple box to simulate the experience of underlit houses. Blue glass was also often used to communicate ‘danger’. A real lifesaver if you couldn’t read or see what you were taking!
Tessa Gaudet skillfully helped visitors identify characteristics of Coast Salish and northern (likely Haida) basketry, along with oral history and archival photos, to recognize cultural diversity in this region and the ways in which the Songhees village served as a hub for exchange and resistance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Callum Richards and Scott Steele built interactive maps connection the global exchange networks of early Victoria, based on artifacts excavated locally but made all over the world, from Australia to Germany, and everywhere in between. Scott’s map based on the journey of one bottle can still be found here: https://goo.gl/XSWj6W
Martina Samson used a combination of art and hands-on tools/materials to discuss halibut fishing and the importance of halibut in northwest coast cultures.Visitors tested their skills in identifying fish species local to this region, in addition to learning how a halibut hook from the RBCM collection was made and used.
The students made it interactive using a kit called “Makey Makey,” which is a circuit board that connects to your computer, and coding it through a program called “Scratch”. By touching the conductive tape (copper strips) on the board, you complete a circuit to play short audio soundscapes and introductions to the site!
See the map in action here
The map was also made three-dimensional and interactive through 3D printing. This boat and bottle caps, for instance, represent some of the more recent history in Esquimalt Harbour. The prints were made using open access models on Thingiverse and printed through the UVic Digital Scholarship Commons makerspace.
Maddy Chater, Tamara Friedman, Kayla Hartemink, Anna Heckadon, Kaylynne Sparks, and Yip van Muijlwijk created this is interactive map that occupied visitors of all ages in visiting three archaeological sites of Victoria: the Songhees Village, the DND Harbour Dredging, and the Johnson Street Bridge.
Emily Thiessen created a captivating light box that animated the story of a small rice bowl and it’s +100 year life journey from China to becoming artifact DcRu-1208-340 in the RBCM’s collection. Visitors loved peaking into the box tucked into a corner of Old Town and flipping through the pages of this beautifully illustrated story.
Andrea Lacey’s display connects soy sauce containers recovered from the edge of Victoria’s Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Canada, to their place of origin in Guangdong Province. These simple glazed ceramic jugs were often reused after their contents were fully consumed to make and store spirits, etc. as resources were scarce in this period.
The ongoing DND dredging of the Esquimalt Harbour is turning up archaeological collections. Devon Bidal, Jenny Ho Ng, and Marj Parent engage visitors in thinking about the types of objects that are being collected, from cordage made of natural fibers to military objects, representing hundreds of years of human use of the harbour.
Hallie Rounthwaite developed an interactive activity to connect visitors’ modern experiences of food with a Coast Salish wooden spoon excavated from the old Songhees village. Visitors were invited to add their food memories to paper spoons and then categorize them (either cooking/eating or producing/harvesting).
Alexa Dagan, Luisa Esteban and Elisa O’Malley developed cutting-edge augmented reality experiences (using Aurasma app) to demonstrate how these three landscapes have changed over time, using archival and contemporary photos. Augmented reality layers the physical world with digital media to add information and interactivity.
Amanda Fletcher, Katie McPherson and Vincent Ran developed innovative narrative-based soundscapes to capture three landscapes over time, including Esquimalt harbour, Old Chinatown and the old Songhees village. The soundscapes are still available online for free: https://soundcloud.com/user-842052864-784784360
This picture-based timeline gives a brief history of the Esquimalt Harbour and its use over time. Swipe your way through time and follow the links to learn more about local history!
It will take a lot of effort from the groups helping with the Bowker Creek restoration, such as the Greater Victoria Green Team, the CRD and Oak Bay High, to clean up the pollution to make Bowker suitable for salmon again. Hopefully, when Bowker Creek has been sufficiently restored, we will be able to reintroduce salmon to this urban ecosystem.
In Bowker Creek, there are many species that act as bioindicators, such as leeches, sticklebacks and aquatic worms. Bioindicators are organisms used to gauge the health of an ecosystem. The organisms found in the creek all have a high pollution tolerance, meaning the creek is polluted. If we want salmon to return, the pollution must be reduced.
60% of glass artifacts were alcoholic. The issue of daily spirits was one of the customs the RCN took from the British Royal Navy and it had changed over time. Junior sailors had to mix their rum with cola. Some will switch it for coke and pour the rum into a bottle for later. Later on, the serving of spirits at sea was replaced by beer and wine.
Hayato Takata and Yoshitaro Kishida opened the garden on July 11, 1907. Two Takata brothers started to run the garden as a family business in 1922. The Takata family was interned in 1942. Their houses and the garden were vandalized and destroyed. The rest of their belongings were sold off by the government. [BC Archives-E-01902] Learn more about this image at BC Archives here
A scrapbook donated by Alderman Halford Wilson contains newspaper clippings, advertisements, and annotations made by the author that show his racism towards Japanese Canadians. This documents illuminates the racist climate of the 1940s in which the dispossession of Japanese Canadians occurred. [BC Archives-ms0012, box 3]
Hideo Kokubo was interviewed in Vancouver in 1973 in a project by Reynoldston Research and Studies. He discusses life as a fisherman in BC in the 1940s and mentions how the government seized Japanese Canadian fishing boats during the Second World War. [BC Archives-AAAB8584] Learn more about this interview at BC Archives here
The owner of the Ikeda Mine, Arichika Ikeda, died in 1939 but the ownership of his mine came under the jurisdiction of the Custodian in 1942. His wife, Kaoru Ikeda, interned in Slocan, was made to release her rights to the property as well as their family house. She died after four years of internment in the spring of 1946. [BC Archives H-04580] Learn more about this image at BC Archives here
The salmon in Bowker would probably be Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta), the most common species of salmon on the island. They have a 3-4 year lifespan and spawn in freshwater streams. Chum are the most sensitive species of salmon, which will make it difficult for them to return to Bowker Creek, but aren't discriminating as to where they spawn.
Downtown Victoria’s blue bridge was built in 1924 and since its construction has been the main access between downtown Victoria and Esquimalt. When the site was excavated in 2016, the artifacts uncovered suggest an area of cultural overlap between the First Nations, European, and Chinese populations and evidence of significant international trade.
Before it was Shutters Spa development, this site was the Old Songhees Village, established in 1844 when the Songhees people were asked to relocate from the Inner Harbour. When construction began the discovery of a bone awl thought to date pre-1846, the limit of protection granted to BC archaeology, allowed the excavation of over 5,000 artifacts.
Before Esquimalt Harbour was a naval port, it was a food resource for the ancestors of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nation peoples. The bay was used by First Nations for its marine life, but settlers were interested in the potential of the deep sea harbour. During the dredging to remove industrial contamination, artifacts were found from both groups.
The practice of twisting fiber strands together to make cordage is, arguably, one of the most ancient of technologies. Before machines, human hands turned cordage into items ranging from simple bow strings to elaborate fishing nets. For people living on B.C. coasts, who depended on the ocean for food, cordage would have been essential for survival.
Illustration from the Royal BC Museum archaeology gallery of antler wedges and a stone hand maul being used for woodworking.
This paddle is from the Royal BC Museum Ethnology collection. View the object in the collection here
This image is from the BC Archives. Learn more about the image here: <http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/spinning-wool-for-cowichan-indian-sweaters>
This image is from the BC Archives. Learn more about the image here: <http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/kickwilli-hules-1907-inside-of-pit-house> .
This image is from BC Archives. Learn more about the image here: <http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/raising-totem-pole-at-masset>
This is an antler wedge in the Royal BC Museum collection.
Victoria has always been a melting pot of cultures! After Victoria was established, many First Nations came from up and down the coast to work and trade. Luckily for archaeologists and historians, their presence can be seen in the archaeological record. Unearthed northern basketry indicates First Nations from up north had once lived in Victoria.
"The background sound of the ocean is really a distorted version of the
trickling water from the university's waterfall, and the end of the
sound clip has a bicycle clip played in reverse to represent the
movement of going back in time, to a time when the style of bicycle that
the soundscape is based off of would have existed."
"Your dreams of becoming a forest-dwelling hermit come true. It's pouring outside, so light a fire and put on a record."
You can find these wooden floors throughout the exhibits on the third floor of the museum.
"A walk through a damp mine. You find something that shouldn't be there."
You can find the mine in the Industry exhibit.
"A variety of recordings of industrial equipment; compiled, arranged,
and lightly processed in order to construct an ambiguous soundscape
symbolic of labour in North America. This soundscape represents the
"voice of industry": the shared characteristics of industrial sounds
throughout history and their ubiquity in industrial spaces."
You can find the mine in the Industry exhibit.
"This is the soundscape for the medicine shop in the Chinatown marketplace. Listen to the soothing sounds of the guzheng accompanied by quiet chatters, amongst other sounds."
You can find this medicine display in China Town in Old Town.
"I chose the china tea set because I have always loved china tea sets.
When I see these tea sets it always makes me think of extravagant dinner
parties with live music. Through this soundscape I tried to represent a
dinner party with the soundscape ending with the string quartet ready
to start the music."
You can find this china set in a display case across from the Livery in Old Town.
"This is a short sound piece following the journey of a salmon getting
caught, canned, and sold. From the perspective of the salmon we travel
from the Salish Sea, through the canning process, and into a local
general store where the can of smoked salmon is finally opened."
You can find the Cannery near the Tremblay Homestead, in the Industry exhibit.
"The inspiration for this soundscape came from an old boating float made from blown glass wrapped with rope. In the soundscape I choose to bring out the sounds of water, rope tying it together with a methodic bass line to create a distorted track that invokes a mellow interpretation of what it could be like floating along the water."
You can find this Japanese glass fishing buoy across from the salmon cleaning table in the Cannery in the Industry exhibit.
"Throughout this project, I attempted to capture the relevance of water in our daily lives. While listening to this production, one should appreciate the fragility of water in all its majesty. This soundscape provides the listener with a figurative breath of fresh air swept from the surface of salty tides."
Find this nautical diorama in the Naval collection in the Becoming BC exhibit.
"The year is 1794. . . The soundscape begins outside of the docked Discovery. The weather is
gloomy and Sea Lions are heard near by. A crew member enters the
quarters, sits down, and spins the globe several times. A haunting
melody creeps into the soundscape, representative of things to come."
You can find this globe in Captain Vancouver's chambers inside the HMS Discovery in the Becoming BC exhibit.
"This soundscape is meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia and curiosity
for people in modern society as many, if not all of us, will never
experience an ocean crossing in a boat such as this one. we also wanted
to add some muffled voices and other sounds that might not be as
familiar to listeners that could still be present in this context."
You can find Captain Vancouver's chambers inside the HMS Discovery in the Becoming BC exhibit.
"This soundscape is about the impact of time, and how it can serve as a
reminder for us. Time is studied in both cultural and social contexts,
and there is something special about being transported to another time
or place through music."
You can find the watch and clocks display on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"This two minute long soundscape is an ominous piece about time,
speaking to the distance of the past and the uncertainty of the future."
You can find the watch and clocks display on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"Upstairs in the Grand Hotel in Old Town there's an abandoned office
that was once full of activity. Listen carefully and you will hear
sounds made by the people who worked there 100 years ago; impressions of
past lives and old memories. Ghosts of former office employees float
through the room and go about their business."
You can find this Office diorama on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"America is seemingly a country that allows people to gain fortune,
wealth and achieve success. However, what measures do they need to take
in order to bring their dreams to fruition? . . . It can offer many great things however there are hardships, barriers, pitfalls and uncertainties along the way."
You can find this American flag to the left of the HMS Discovery at the entrance of the Becoming BC exhibit.
"This soundscape was created for (and about) the woman who lives in this
kitchen. Special thanks to Oona Vaughn for lending her voice."
You can find the Kitchen diorama on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"This soundscape represents a quiet afternoon of brewing tea and
appreciating time spent alone. It explores the process of tea making and
the sense intimacy it evokes."
You can find the Tea Room diorama on the first floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"This piece chronicles the evening of a person or group of friends
attempting to find the washroom as they get increasingly more
intoxicated. On their way, they drop cups, get accosted by fellow
patrons, and are distracted by bright lights and sudden noises. Their
journey is fruitless, however, as they eventually give up and exit the
Find this beer and brewing display on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
"A glimpse into the sonic world of an importer, hard at work in an office in the early 1890’s."
Find the Office diorama on the second floor of the Grand Hotel in Old Town.
Dr. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitter’s was put into large scale production in 1853 by David Hostetter, the son of the recipe’s creator, and continued produced for over 100 years. This 94-proof alcohol was marketed to the Union soldiers during the American Civil War as “a positive protective against the fatal maladies of the Southern swamps”.
While this may make the inkwell seem like an ordinary object, when put in historical and cultural context through written records, this inkwell as part of a larger story. This inkwell was a tool for Chinese Canadians to maintain communication with their homelands, retain cultural connection and defend their rights as members of Canadian society.
This audio-guide is based on the true life-story of David Michael Corry Connor – voiced by Samuel DeCosse – who was born in Liverpool in 1927 and served in the British Navy during World War Two. The creator, Devon Bidal, used a material culture approach to build the story around a lighter found at the Esquimalt Harbour site.
The Songhees village site was occupied between 1844 and 1911. In accordance with B.C. law, artifacts are only protected if they date pre-1846. An archaeological assessment of the site was prompted when a single artifact older than 1846 was uncovered. This site is unique because most of its contents date post-1846!
The Esquimalt Harbour Soundscape takes you on a trip through time. Climb aboard the canoe and listen to the sounds of fishing as the ravens call from the trees. Then follow with us through the ages as canoes are replaced by tall-ships and tall-ships replaced by steam and then diesel.
The Songhees Village Soundscape takes you through the grass to a carving tent. There you can hear the carvers working and children playing in the distance. From the carving tent follow us out to the beach, listen to the seagulls and eagles as you walk along the smooth stones down to the water's edge.