Ecosystem Restoration

The ecosystems within the Gulf Islands are extremely varied due to the climate and topography, and therefore are home to some of the rarest and most precious species in British Columbia. Some of the plant and animal communities that are displaced by human settlement can be very difficult to restore, so the best conservation is attained through protection of natural places.

However, in situations where ecosystems are degraded, they can be restored to some degree and become places that provide homes and resources to many coastal creatures. Indeed, much research shows how important small and medium-sized patches of healthy ecosystems can play in the overall health of native plant and animal populations.

Coast Alive Services helps property owners, stratas, covenant holders, and governmental and non-governmental organizations restore natural forest and wetland ecosystems through the development of a comprehensive, multi-year plan. Such a plan will combine elements of invasive plant control, native planting, wildfire risk reduction and wildlife habitat enhancement to create a diverse, resilient and naturally beautiful landscape. The plan would also be forward looking, and take into account changing climatic and social conditions.

This slope, across from St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island, was previously covered in dense Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberry. After several years the native plants are becoming competitive again, with many trees and shrubs planted and protected from deer browse.

This wetland within the Elder Cedar Nature Reserve on Gabriola Island was becoming infested with reed canary grass, an aggressive non-native that can rapidly form dense monocultures. With the help of volunteers, the reed canary grass was removed and replaced with vigorous native trees and shrubs. As is necessary through most of the gulf islands, the planted species must be protected by excessive deer browse. Once the plants are higher than browse height the fencing can be removed and reused.

Christopher Drake, MSc (Ecology) – Owner/operator

Cell (call or text): 250-221-1342

Email: drake@coastaliveservices

Address: 144 Graham Drive, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1J5

Website last updated: May 2022

Thankful to operate on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast and Straits Salish people, the original stewards of this land.

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