Kennedy Flats Watershed is located in Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. Much of the watershed was logged between 1950 and 1980. Logging and salvage practices of the time were not designed to protect streams or fisheries resources and as a result many of the streams in the area have reduced fish access, poor water quality and altered hydrological function. The Kennedy Watershed Restoration Project (KWRP) was initiated in 1994 under the federal Canadian Salmon Enhancement and Restoration Fund and continued in 1995 under the provincial Watershed Restoration Program. Since that time, local restoration crews have worked to restore the hydrological, biological, riparian, and ecological functions of the Kennedy Flats Watershed. Methods used have included removal of non-embedded small woody debris (SWD), anchoring of large woody debris (LWD) into functional structures, spawning gravel placement, riparian restoration, landslide restoration and road deactivation. Restoration work continued in 2005 thanks to a generous grant from the Pacific Salmon Commission, and Forest Investment Account funds from International Forest Products Ltd. Weyerhaeuser Canada also contributed to the project under the 'Jobs For Youth Program 2005'. A crew of twelve worked for six weeks, from July 27th to August 5th. They completed maintenance work on structures installed prior to 2005, removed non-embedded SWD and installed LWD structures at five sites on Lost Shoe Creek in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, placed 70 m3 of spawning gravel, replaced a hung culvert on Sandhill Creek, and brushed five hectares of riparian forest. These and previous years? efforts have resulted in increased fish access and improved health of the creeks and bordering riparian forests. Annual monitoring shows a marked improvement in stream condition, as well as increased fish escapement. The local community has benefited from the employment and training opportunities provided by this project, and strong partnerships have been built between various community and stakeholder groups.
by Robyn Scott, Warren Warttig, David Clough.