|Squamish Watershed Society||
The roots of the Squamish Watershed Society date back to 1993 when a group of people interested in protecting the integrity of the Squamish Watershed formed the Squamish River Watershed Committee.
In 1995 the Watershed Committee partnered with the Squamish Nation, and regional/provincial governments on Forest Renewal BC's Watershed Restoration Program.
From 1995 to 1998, under the Watershed Restoration Program, the Watershed Committee conducted environmental assessments on all of the water courses draining into the Squamish River, identified key restoration sites, and conducted in-stream restoration work. Impressed with the committees level of expertise and quality of work First Nation, and provincial/regional government partners encouraged the committee to form as a non-profit society, and in 1998 the Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS) became a registered non-profit.
As a registered non-profit in 1999 the SRWS successfully applied to lead Forest Renewal BC’s Watershed Restoration Program and expanded the program to conserve and restore the integrity of various other watercourses in and around the Squamish and Lillooet River watersheds.
Incorporation into a registered society marked a shift in SRWS history and the organization assumed the role of lead proponent and administrative body for a variety of funding agencies and projects in the Squamish and Lillooet River watersheds.
While the SRWS provides the structure to fund watershed related projects, the society stays committed to their roots to provide opportunity for citizens, policy makers, resources users, First Nations, organizations, and interested parties to exchange technical/science based information on issues concerning the watershed.
In 2011 the SRWS became a registered charitable organization.
In March 2013 the name was shortened to Squamish Watershed Society to better
reflect the holistic approach towards the entire Squamish watershed.
1998-2002: The SRWS led the Squamish/Lillooet Rivers Watershed Partnership Group under Fisheries Renewal BC’s Salmonid Renewal Program. Under this program over 50 salmonid renewal projects were implemented in the region.
1999 – 2002: The SRWS led the restoration work under the Department of Fisheries, Oceans Habitat Restoration and Salmon Enhancement Program
1999 – 2003: The SRWS developed the Habitat Conservation Stewardship Program from which the Lil’wat Fisheries Commission was created.
2001 – present: The SRWS is a participant in the Bridge Coastal Restoration Program, a joint program run through BC Hydro, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Under this program the SRWS has helped construct over 8000 linear meters of new salmon streams, and over 15, 000m2 of new rearing and spawning salmon habitat.
2002 – present: The SRWS is leading the Squamish Salmon Recovery Project. The SRWS and the Pacific Salmon Foundation worked with various project partners to develop and implement the Squamish Salmon Recovery plan that was completed in 2005. The SRWS continues to lead the implementation of this plan funded by the Pacific Salmon Foundation Endowment Fund and CN Rail.
2007 – present: The SRWS is leading the Howe Sound Basin Chapter of the Seagrass Conservation Working Group. This group is restoring, mapping, and monitoring marine eelgrass beds throughout the Salish Sea.
1998 – present: The SRWS hosts and facilitates multi-stakeholder workshops and conferences on watershed management.
2005 – present: the SRWS develops and facilitates the Squamish Rivers Estuary Education Program to 500 elementary school kids annually. This program engages youth in SRWS restoration projects, and provides them with opportunities to become stewards of their local environment.
2005 - present: The SRWS has been involved in the Chekamus Ecosystem Recovery Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group after CN train derailment spilled 41,000L of sodium hydroxide in to the Cheakamus River in August 2005.
2008 - present: In partnership with the Sea to Sky Highway Investment group and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans the SRWS has been leading a five year post construction highway monitoring study that is assessing the impacts of highway 99 upgrades on local water courses.
2011 - present: The SRWS in partnership with the Ministry of Environment is establishing Red Legged Frog habitat in the Sea to Sky Corridor to compensate for lost habitat at Pine Crest from highway 99 upgrades. To date 8 ephemeral wetlands have been installed with plans for more to be developed.
1998 – present: The SRWS participates in numerous planning processes and committees. Some of these include the BC Hydro Cheakamus Water Use Planning (since 1998), the Sea Grass Conservation Working Group (since 2003), Smart Growth on the Ground (2005-8), The Squamish Estuary management Committee (since 1999), The Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Plan (since 2007), and the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (since 2008).