Upon our visit to the section of the estuary that was not affected by log sorting activities, we observed that there was a rich organic smell at the site. Perhaps this is the smell of decomposing matter which is often observed in other estuaries and wetlands. Interestingly, this is the same smell we encountered when we sampled in areas close to the tidal channel in the old log sorting site. Could this have been our first indicator that is likely that the restoration project was successful seeing that sections of the disturbed site had this rich organic smell ? At the end of our particle size analysis we would be able to further confirm this observation. In addition to the rich organic smell, there were approximately 7 Canada geese feeding and one Heron which was not observed during the sampling process in the disturbed site. This was another indication that this section of the estuary was healthy thus is good "control" site for our research.
Sampling this area was conducted using the same method as the old sorting facility. At this site the area was divided into grids and randomly sampled. We carefully traversed in this area as the soil was generally soggy. Also since the soil was sticky there was more resistance when walking so much care was taken. Nonetheless, we successfully randomly selected and sampled 4 grids out of the 6 grids !!!
At the end of this field day, we had all our samples to conduct a soil particle size lab analysis which would take place at Quest University under the supervision of Dr. Rich Wildman.
Jhanelle is an environmental science student at Quest University with a focus on soil and water quality. She is excited to work with the Squamish Watershed Society in the estuary soils as this provides the basic understanding for the fate and transportation of contaminants in soils. Furthermore seeing that this a relatively new restoration project, understanding the physical characteristics of the soil is central for advancing in the development of the site. Stay tuned for the interesting research forthcoming!