Document Sample
					                 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts

  1. 2000 PROJECTS                                                           4

Rithet’s Bog Water Quality Analysis and Hydrology Study                      4

Shawnigan Creek Watershed: A Fisheries Perspective                           5

The Cowichan River Side Channel Project – 1999/2000                          6

Wildlife Repellent Pilot Study - Determining the Behavioural Responses of
Domestic Animals to Synthetic Predator Urine                                 7

  2. 2001 PROJECTS                                                           8

An Investigation into the Effect of Nitrogen on the Growth of Scotch Broom 8
Assessment of the Wildflower Population and the Garry Oak Woodland on
Christmas Hill                                                        9

Blinkhorn Lake Park Baseline Study                                          10

Green Crab Study                                                            12

Mapping the Aquifer Vulnerability Using AVI Method                          13
Seabed Imaging +Mapping System Survey of Tod Inlet -A Baseline Inventory
Water Quantity and Quality Monitoring of Graham Creek                       15

  3. 2002 PROJECTS                                                          16

Baseline Assessment of Maltby Lake                                          16
Noxious Weed GIS and Research                                               18

Pacific Sand Lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) Spawning Habitat Survey           19

Restoration Options for Bowker Creek: Demonstration Segment
Downstream of Haultain Street                                               20

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                 Page 1 of 37
Tod Inlet Bivalve Survey                                                   21

Vegetation Survey of Roger’s Farm Property and Assessment of Wildflower
Response to Snowberry Removal in the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana)
Woodland on Christmas Hill                                             22

Watercress Stream Salmonid Habitat Assessment                              23

   4. 2003 PROJECTS                                                        24

Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory of the Bird Cove Watershed, Read Island,
BC                                                                       24
Mt. Matheson Baseline Inventory                                            25
Sustainable Housing                                                        26

   5. 2004 PROJECTS                                                        27

Environmental Assessment of Dunn’s Nook                                    27

Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping: Dirk Van der Meer Property, Metchosin BC

The Natural History of Hutton’s Vireo - Vireo huttoni insularis            29

   6. 2005 PROJECTS                                                        30

Acoustic Seabed Classification of Baynes Sound and the Determination of
Impacts on the Benthic Environment from Bivalve Aquaculture                30

Botanical Beach Tidal Pool Mapping and Monitoring                          31
Copper Loading and Stream Flow Below the Abandoned Mount Washington
Copper Mine, British Columbia                                     33

   7. 2006 PROJECTS                                                        34

Biodegradable Soaps vs. Non-biodegradable Soaps Used in the Automotive
Industry                                                               34
Spectacle Lake: Copper Concentration Study And Passive Acid Mine
Drainage Remediation Assessment                                            35

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                 Page 2 of 37
The Development of a Species at Risk Hazard Rating Tool for the Department
of National Defence                                                     36

Vermiremediation of PAH Contaminated Soil                              37

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                             Page 3 of 37
2000 Projects

Rithet’s Bog Water Quality Analysis and Hydrology Study
June 2000

Prepared By: Jonathan Smith, Oona Graham, Erin Waterman, Crystal Campbell

Project Supervisor: Warren Drinnan


A one-year baseline hydrological study and water quality analysis on Rithet’s Bog
in Saanich, B.C. was performed for a Sustainable Research Project. This project is
part of the Camosun College Environmental Technology program curriculum.
Rithet’s Bog is a coniferous treed type basin bog in which Sphagnum moss should
be the dominant substrate in the undisturbed situation. The purpose of the baseline
study was to collect data concerning water quality and water table levels in order to
make management recommendations that ensure the preservation and regeneration
of bog plant communities. The study consisted of two mensuration experiments: a
stratified block design and an offset transect design using dipwells to determine the
conditions of the disturbed land and comparing oxygen, percent saturation, specific
conductivity and temperature. The results of the experiments showed a water table
that dropped well below the surface of the bog forest and high pH levels inhibiting
the growth of Sphagnum moss species in all areas examined. Conductivity levels
for much of the year were found to be five times higher than expected in a bog. A
statistical analysis was performed on three identified regions: Bog Forest,
Agricultural land and Surface Flows. The analysis identified a statistical
difference in pH levels for the three regions with the bog forest having the lowest
pH and, therefore, the greatest potential for Sphagnum regeneration. It was also
shown that the bog forest had a significantly lower conductivity than the other two
regions, which is a result of the surrounding agricultural land acting as a filter or
buffer zone for the centre of the bog forest. The results of the transect through
Rithet’s Bog failed to identify any areas that met all requirements for the
regeneration of Sphagnum spp. mosses. The analysis did; however, identify the
two areas of interest surrounding dipwells 5 and 6. Management recommendations
including preserving the existing buffer zone, removal of invasive vegetation,
blockage of drainage ditches and damming the inflow channel were made as a
means of increasing the potential habitat for Sphagnum spp. mosses and other
remnant bog vegetation.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 4 of 37
Shawnigan Creek Watershed: A Fisheries Perspective
July 2000

Richard Best, Darryl Huculak, Lucas Philp


Fisheries habitat is under pressure from development throughout the rapidly
urbanizing areas of eastern Vancouver Island and the lower Mainland. Quality
instream coho habitat is becoming increasingly rare in this region, for it is the
small to tiny streams the coho prefer which are the ones that are most easily
crippled by the effects of urbanization. The Urban Salmon Habitat Program,
provincially funded through the Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks, was
developed to assess the state of existing fisheries habitat in urban areas of BC,
recommend sensible options for restoration/enhancement, and fund habitat
enhancement work in selected areas.

This report began as part of a Group Sustainability Project for the Camosun
College Environmental Technology Program in the spring of 1999. The original
intention was to perform an assessment of lower Shawnigan Creek for the USHP.
A standard USHP assessment was conducted over the entire length of the lower
mainstem of Shawnigan Creek, from the outlet of Shawnigan Lake to the estuary
in Mill Bay. After completing the USHP assessment we expanded the scope of the
project to include an overview of the entire watershed. The original written report
was submitted to Camosun in July, 2000. Since that time, the students involved
have all graduated or left the program. I have rewritten the original report and
added some additional data and discussion, with the intention of submitting it to
the USHP, as well as any government agencies, community groups, or private
citizens who might have an interest in this charming little ecosystem.

The methods we used to gather USHP data, crunch the numbers, and display the
results, is covered in Section 2. Results, discussion, and recommendations of the
USHP assessment are presented in Section 3, along with a more detailed
description of the creek. Additional fisheries issues, not directly addressed by the
USHP assessment, are discussed on Section 4. A series of appendices are included
as well, which cover some aspects of the report in greater detail, and support the
body of the report with maps and graphs.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 5 of 37
The Cowichan River Side Channel Project – 1999/2000
June 30, 2000

Glen Brown, Jeff Watkins, Brian Crossley, Pat Dalton


Water resources are thought to be the bloodline of the physical and biotic
environment. With development and urban encroachment, it has become
necessary to monitor and collect baseline data on these vulnerable aquatic
environments in order to make sound and scientifically defendable land use
decisions. An Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP) project was initiated in
May 1999 by a group of Camosun College students that focused on the study of
two artificially created side channels on the Cowichan River. Constructed to
provide yearly flow to a recently cut-off portion of the Cowichan River, the
artificial channels, Finnegan and Alder, are used by several different species of
salmonids. The objectives of the project were: to monitor water quality, complete
a Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) assessment, complete a
determination of fish presence/absence study for the general study area, conduct a
dead pitch analysis, and conduct a smolt/fry count for downstream migrating
salmon. Procedures were followed as described by USHP. From the data
collected, a returning chum salmon population of 452 was calculated for Finnegan
and 13 for Alder. It was estimated that 7699 chum fry migrated downstream from
Finnegan, which resulted in a 1.6 % survival rate. Water quality monitoring data
indicated high water temperature fluctuations and little or no flow for Alder, and
resulted in concerns over its use for spawning and summer rearing habitat. Further
enhancement was recommended. It was concluded after the presence/absence
study, that the creeks known as Upper and Lower Watercress, and the swamp that
feeds them, exhibit excellent habitat for summer rearing of salmonids. Further
study is indicated. The SHIM assessment was completed and the data were
successfully transferred to an ARCView digital map, now showing the project area
as it exists today. The findings from this project, and further monitoring and
information collection in the area, will become valuable tools for protecting and
further enhancing the Cowichan River Watershed from inappropriate land usage
such as logging, industry, and urban development.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                     Page 6 of 37
Wildlife Repellent Pilot Study - Determining the Behavioural Responses of
Domestic Animals to Synthetic Predator Urine

June 2000

Thia Bunker, Kelly Werbowski and Christine Winsby

Wildlife vehicle collisions result in the unnecessary death and injury of wildlife in
British Columbia each year. The Ministry of Transportation and Highways
(MoTH) and the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) are working together to
reduce the number of wildlife-motor vehicle collisions by investigating the
potential of synthetic predator odours as a wildlife management tool. Numerous
studies have been carried out to determine the effects various synthetic predator
odours have had on wild animal behaviour. No previous studies have been found
on their effect on domestic animals. Therefore, Camosun College Environmental
Technology Program in Partnership with MoTH and ICBC, conducted a pilot study
to test the effects synthetic predator odours had on the behaviour of domestic
animals, namely, dogs, cows and horses. Preliminary observations indicate that
there were no adverse behavioural responses from dogs. Results were inconclusive
for cows and horses and further study is recommended.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 7 of 37
2001 Projects
An Investigation into the Effect of Nitrogen on the Growth of Scotch Broom

JUNE 2001



The investigation into the effects of nitrogen on Scotch broom (Cytsis scoparius
[L] Link) meets the requirement of the ENVR 208, the final project of the
Camosun College Environmental Technology Program. An investigation into the
effect of nitrogen nitrates on a legume species, Cytsis scoparius was performed
with the intent to explore whether Scotch broom, if left alone, will eventually self-
cull. As an introduced species, Scotch broom has no natural controls and has the
ability to self-cultivate in a wide range of conditions, particularly on undisturbed
sites. The methodologies employed for the investigation included field
observations, sample collections and nitrate trials. The field observations were
intended to show the relationship between large Scotch broom and nearby
seedlings. The site descriptions included soil type, canopy cover and plant
abundance. Further data collected were from soil test sampling, seed germination
and the effects of nitrogen nitrates on broom seedlings. Although some parts of
this investigation were met without success, much of the data was useful. Finally,
the nodulated roots observed, showed that there exists a direct relationship between
nitrogen availability and root nodule formation. The findings of this investigation
showed that the levels of nitrogen nitrates available to Scotch broom affect the
formation of nodules on the roots of legumes and high concentrations of nitrogen
nitrate were found to be lethal to Scotch broom seedlings. General
recommendations are provided for each section to aid in future studies.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 8 of 37
Assessment of the Wildflower Population and the Garry Oak Woodland on
Christmas Hill
June 25, 2001

Linda Pickett, Mary Steel, Melissa Sztybel


This report presents the results of a wildflower experiment and a general
assessment of the Garry oak woodland on Christmas Hill in Victoria, BC. The
purpose of this project was to provide information to the Swan Lake Christmas Hill
Nature Sanctuary (SLCHNS) that would assist them in managing the woodland
more effectively. The wildflower experiment compared the effects of the absence
or presence of common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) on white fawn lily
(Erythronium oregonum) and tall camas (Camassia leichtlinii). For white fawn
lily (E. oregonum), common snowberry (S. albus) was removed manually from the
treatment experimental units and the counts were compared for 2000 and 2001. In
2001, the tall camas (C. leichtlinii) population was sampled along the leading edge
of the common snowberry (S. albus). The statistical analysis was non-conclusive
and the null hypotheses were not rejected, although data indicated that snowberry
(S. albus) does have a negative effect on the performance of the wildflowers. The
assessment of the woodland identified six different plant communities on
Christmas Hill.     Recommendations are made to the SLCHNS outlining
management options. Opportunities for further study were also identified.

 ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                     Page 9 of 37
Blinkhorn Lake Park Baseline Study
Paul Inglis, Sylvia Kenny and Jennifer Maxwell

June 2001
Executive Summary

This is the first comprehensive study of Blinkhorn Lake Park, in Mechosin BC,
conducted from February 2000 to June 2001 as a Sustainability Research project
by students of the Camosun College Environmental Technology Program.

Blinkhorn Lake Park is located on the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island within
the Coastal Western Hemlock subxeric maritime (CWHxm1) biogeoclimatic
subzone of the Georgia Depression Ecoprovince. Comprising a total area of
approximately 100 hectares, the park contains young to maturing Douglas Fir and
Western Redcedar coniferous forest, interspersed with patches of Red Alder and
Arbutus plant communities. Central to the park is Blinkhorn Lake and a
surrounding marsh wetland.

The principal objective of the study was to evaluate the ecological characteristics
of Blinkhorn Lake Park and to gather information that would assist the Metchosin
Parks and Trails Advisory Commission, the primary project sponsors, to make
scientifically informed park management decisions. The study focussed on five
general areas of inquiry: bathymetry, water quality, zooplankton diversity, wildlife
observations and vegetation.

The bathymetric survey determined that the depth of the lake has decreased since
1972, providing evidence that the lake is filling in. Water quality was evaluated
through the monthly and seasonal collection of data on the physical, chemical and
biological characteristics of Blinkhorn Lake. The evaluation of physical water
quality confirmed that Blinkhorn Lake is a warm monomictic lake that undergoes
only minor stratification during the summer period. Dissolved oxygen
concentrations and water temperatures were found to exceed the criteria for
survival of salmonids in August 2000. Fecal coliform concentrations did not
exceed recreational water quality guidelines and the risk of fecal contamination of
the lake from wildlife or anthropogenic sources was determined to be low.
Chemical water quality was found to be within the range of expected values for BC
fresh water lakes. Total phosphorus concentrations exceeded the criteria for

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 10 of 37
recreational water use. Periodic changes in algal growth, as illustrated by
chlorophyll concentrations and water fluorescence, were seen to correspond with
changes in water clarity, with a peak of algal growth observed in April 2001
subsequent to lake turnover. The study further confirmed that the lake is eutrophic,
as suggested by previous studies. Zooplankton diversity reflected that of many
lakes with one or two dominant species observed along with several others of less
abundance. The zooplankton diversity was determined to be sufficient for
maintenance of ecological stability within the lake.

Wildlife observations made over the study period revealed that the lake and park
provide habitat for a diverse range of vertebrate species, including most notably the
Red-Legged Frog, Rana aurora, and the Pacific Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
ssp fannini, included on the provincial Blue List of species considered vulnerable
to impacts for human activities or natural events. The vegetation survey
catalogued plant species within the coniferous and deciduous forest and wetland
ecosystems of the park and confirmed the significance of the wetland area as a
Sensitive Ecosystem, with rare or fragile ecological value.

Overall, despite historical disturbance from timber harvesting and fire, the park
represents an important local ecological and recreational refuge for wildlife and
humans alike.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 11 of 37
Green Crab Study


Dean Browne, Jason Lasuik, Shannon Taggart, Gurp Thandi


We reviewed and researched information pertaining to the recent presence of the
European Green Crab within the waters of British Columbia. Current research
holds that the European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) is capable of exerting
predatory control on bivalves and smaller crustaceans; which may threaten and
eventually displace native marine floral and fauna (Jamieson, 1996). This study
consisted of testing three different methods for the trapping of crabs and one
method for the survey of clams within Price Bay from January to June, 2001.
These methods evolved into a protractor design useful for determining vegetation,
clam abundance and crab abundance. No European Green crabs were found within
the study area. The presence and relative abundance of common crabs (H.nudus,
H. oregonensis, C. magister and C. gracilis) and common clams (Venerupis
philippinarum, Protothaca staminea , Saxidomus gigantea, and Macoma nasuta)
were recorded to provide baseline information on species found within Price Bay.
Furthermore, we recorded the backshore vegetation and the species of birds
observed within Price Bay to record the macro flora and fauna present within a bay
susceptible to Carcinus maenas establishment.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                    Page 12 of 37
Mapping the Aquifer Vulnerability Using AVI Method
June 25, 2001

Aaron Enquist, Peter Jankiewicz, Hiroki Tomoe, Michael Virlas

Supervisor: Tim Elkin


         The goal of this project was to produce aquifer vulnerability maps of the
Mill Bay Aquifer No. 206 and Shawnigan Lake/ Mill Bay Aquifer No. 207.
A cost–effective way to protect water quality is to map the vulnerability of aquifers
to assist in planning land use activities and, thereby, minimizing water quality
impacts. One of methods currently being used by other Provinces and States is
AVI (Aquifer Vulnerability Index). AVI assumes all aquifers are of equal value,
and ignores water quality and water use of aquifers. A vulnerability map can be
constructed by calculating the logarithm of the hydraulic resistance (log c) for each
well site and delineating areas of similar log c (AVI) values.
         The objective was achieved. Maps of the aquifer No.206 & No.207 were
created in shapefile format. The associated lithologic well data with the
corresponding spatial data necessary to produce these maps were compiled in the
electronic database.
The resultant polygon map depicted areas of varying resistance by grouping them
into five vulnerability categories.
         The maps provide a generic assessment of aquifer vulnerability based
solely on physical hydrogeologic characteristics of the aquifer. When applying any
vulnerability mapping method it is important to have good, accurate, large scale
surficial geological mapping, maps showing delineated aquifer boundaries; and the
widest possible coverage of accurately located water wells with accompanying
lithologic and water level information. Despite these drawbacks GIS allows for
flexibility in the revision of maps should existing information become obsolete, or
if revision of a groundwater vulnerability classification scheme becomes

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 13 of 37
Seabed Imaging +Mapping System Survey of Tod Inlet -A Baseline Inventory
June 2001

Kevin Bill, Kellie Bunting, Tia Heeley


A nearshore habitat and resource inventory of Tod Inlet, located on the eastern side
of Saanich Inlet on Southern Vancouver Island, was conducted using Seabed
Imaging and Mapping System (SIMS). The SIMS consists of a towed underwater
video camera that images the seabed and is positioned accurately with
differentially-corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS). Over 15,000 images
of the Tod Inlet seabed were classified using a standardized geological and
biological classification system. The classification data were entered into an
Access database, and then plotted in ArcView GIS to create precise maps of the
substrate, man-made objects, epiflora and epifauna present in Tod Inlet.

When comparing the digital maps of Tod Inlet, the general trend identified was
that distribution and diversity of epiflora and epifauna is directly related to
substrate type. Typically, the shoreline substrate was composed of higher percent
gravel and supported a greater diversity of flora and fauna than that of the
mud/sand sediment found in the deep middle section of the inlet. The inlet contains
abundant suitable substrate for Zostera marina, eelgrass, yet there are only a few
meadows present. Anecdotal information indicates that eelgrass was established in
the inlet historically; but due to lack of long term scientific studies reasons for the
decline of eelgrass meadows are not known. Through the SIMS project, baseline
data now exists and can be used to determine the health of the marine ecosystem in
Tod Inlet and serve as a benchmark for monitoring change.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                         Page 14 of 37
Water Quantity and Quality Monitoring of Graham Creek

June 25, 2001

Michelle Meier, Nichole Speiss, Karen Timlick, Royan Viggers

Water quality and quantity within the Hagan Creek Watershed has been greatly
impacted by agricultural, industrial and municipal development activities.
Historically, the Hagan Creek Watershed housed a healthy population of resident
cutthroat trout. At present, trout still exist in the watershed, but in reduced
numbers. This reduction in fish numbers is believed to be a result of decreased
water quality and quantity due to these development activities.
The site of study, located in the Maber Flats area surrounding Graham Creek, has
been highly impacted by development activities. The creek has been redirected,
ditched, and culverted as a method for draining the surrounding agricultural fields
during periods of high rainfall. The resulting habitat loss and low summer water
flows have affected the health and numbers of fish populations in the Hagan Creek
Five representative sites were chosen along Graham Creek in order to identify
which landuse activity contributes the largest amount of water runoff into the
creek. An analysis of discharge measurements was undertaken in order to identify
which of the three development activities contributes the most to runoff into the
creek. An evaluation of the water quality was also undertaken for each site,
measuring pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and conductivity.
Analysis of the data collected showed agricultural development to have the greatest
impact on the creek. The discharge from agricultural runoff was higher than from
any of the other areas. Agricultural runoff contributes large amounts of sediments
to the creek, causing an increase in turbidity and a decrease in dissolved oxygen
Through the course of this study, enough information was gathered for
recommendations to be made regarding the further restoration of the Hagan Creek

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                     Page 15 of 37
2002 Projects
Baseline Assessment of Maltby Lake


Jules Farkas, Jessica Martin, Derek Williams, Virginia Edmonstone


Maltby Lake is a small, drainage basin located in the Municipality of Saanich on
the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. It is located in the Coastal Douglas Fir
moist maritime (CDFmm) biogeoclimatic subzone.

Due to recent issues concerning the land adjacent to Maltby Lake, a baseline
assessment was conducted from March 2001 to April 2002.

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the aquatic parameters of
Maltby Lake. Ecological information was collected on riparian zone, benthic
sediments and invertebrates, water quality, water chemistry, zooplankton, and fecal

The riparian zone is in the late seral stage of succession, with high bank stability.
There is sufficient recruitment of new vegetation to sustain the woody species
component over time. The sediment is a deep brown colour with a strong odour,
characteristic of an anoxic environment rich in organic matter. Two Families of
benthic invertebrates were identified, both of which are adapted to living in oxygen
deprived environments such as those observed on the lake bottom.

During the months of stratification (April-October 2001) water temperatures
exceed the criteria for salmonid survival with a weekly mean temperature of 18-
19oC from the surface to a depth of four metres. Dissolved oxygen in the
hypolimnetic region is shown to rapidly diminish below the salmonid survival
concentration of 5 mg/L. Specific conductivity measurements did not exceed 120
uS/cm. There were no halide or metal concentrations of concern in the system. The
majority of the nitrogen measured in the lake is present as organic matter.
Phosphorous is the limiting nutrient in Maltby Lake with a P:N ratio of 1:50. From
the 75 L of water filtered, a total of 92 zooplankton were observed, including 86
copepods and 6 cladocerans.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 16 of 37
The water quality and chemistry data collected suggests Maltby Lake is a
borderline oligotrophic/mesotrophic lake, indicating low productivity.
An overview of the fauna of the area revealed many species including Pacific
Great Blue Heron (Ardea harodias ssp. Fannini), included on the Provincial Blue
List, and Purple Martin (Prognes subis), included on the Provincial Red List of
threatened and endangered species. Five types of Sensitive Ecosystems have been
observed at eight sites around Maltby Lake. These include wetland, woodland,
riparian, terrestrial herbaceous, and older growth forest.

Along with information being collected from independent groups, the connection
between the physical, chemical, vegetational, and bacteriological parameters must
be considered in order to establish a sustainable management plan for Maltby

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                    Page 17 of 37
Noxious Weed GIS and Research


Alex Gilbert, Steve Oh, Tom O’Brien, Karren Coe


The purpose of this project is to create a spatial database of noxious weeds. It will
generate a Geographical Information System (GIS) on the distribution range of the
various weeds on Vancouver Island, (see Fig.1). The database is designed to
supplement the baseline research in the development of an information system, for
the management of noxious weeds, by providing spatial distribution data in the
Vancouver Forest Region.
Numerous research projects such as the Thompson Nicola Noxious Weed
Management Committee; or the Broom and Gorse project at the Pacific Forest
Centre (Victoria) are underway focussing on the spread and control of particular
noxious weeds. Both have a requirement for the spatial mapping of infestation
sites, and the GIS database developed in this project can be expanded to include
the data of such projects for the Province.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 18 of 37
Pacific Sand Lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) Spawning Habitat Survey
June 24, 2002

Andrea Blaseckie, Patricia Lewis, Lis Rach, Jill Turk


Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus), an important local forage fish species,
occurs in nearshore coastal environments throughout the eastern North Pacific.
They spawn on coastal intertidal sand to sandy-gravel beaches typically during the
fall and winter months. Spawning locations are well documented for the Puget
Sound region in Washington State; however, little information is available locally.
The purpose of this study is to determine if Pacific sand lance spawning activity
occurs at twelve selected beaches on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Following the protocols established by Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife, systematic substrate samples were collected over a three-month period
and analyzed for Pacific sand lance spawn presence. Physical shoreline surveys
were conducted at the study sites to aid in the identification of spawning habitat
characteristics. Pacific sand lance spawn deposits were verified for 33% of the
beaches studied and many of the sites supported more than one spawning event.
This study provided baseline documentation of Pacific sand lance egg presence or
absence; however, further research needs to be conducted to determine their
abundance and distribution within British Columbia.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 19 of 37
Restoration Options for Bowker Creek:
Demonstration Segment Downstream of Haultain Street
June 24, 2002

Mine Bieller, Katia Gauvin, Gagan Leekha & Regan Walker

Executive Summary
A demonstration restoration plan has been prepared for a 55 meter segment of
Bowker Creek, which lies directly downstream of Haultain Street in the
Municipality of Saanich, for the Municipality of Saanich and Friends of Bowker
Creek Society. The creek is 8 kilometers in length and runs through the
municipalities of Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. As a result of urban
development, and the exclusive objective of storm water management during
modifications to the creek, all sections of the waterway have been significantly
altered either by enclosure in a storm drain or by channelization of open segments.

Challenges discussed in the report expand on the review of environmental issues in
the Municipality of Saanich’s Environmental Concept Plans for Bowker Creek:
Trent Street to Pearl Avenue report. Additional challenges were determined by
surveying the vegetation, soils and other features of the site, as well as from input
from representatives from Friends of Bowker Creek Society, Municipality of
Saanich, Capital Regional District, and residents living close to the creek.

The field component of this project included a site survey to determine dimensions
of the study area, a vegetation inventory to determine which native and non-native
plant species were dominant, and a soils survey to determine the pH, texture and
nutrient content of soil. The results from these surveys were used to ascertain
challenges, which included concerns around safety, bank stabilization, hydraulic
capacity and vegetation management.

Recommendations for restoration methods were determined through a compilation
of comprehensive literature and web-based research as well as through
conversations with various biologists, consultants and representatives from the
Municipality of Saanich Planning, Public Works and Parks Departments.

The recommendations for restoration in this report suggest multi-objective
strategies to manage storm water while enhancing the natural and visual character
of the neighbourhood and can be used to guide future restoration efforts throughout
the watershed.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 20 of 37
Tod Inlet Bivalve Survey


Joshu Bocskei, Shawna Dalley, Heather De Costa, Bill Phillips


An intertidal bivalve survey was conducted in Tod Inlet to assess the relative
abundance of species present. The study area included the intertidal region from
the head of the inlet to the green navigation buoy marking the mouth. The study
area was divided into three reaches where 45 quadrats were placed systematically
at 0 meter and 1 meters elevation relative to chart datum. Samples were also taken
from each reach to determine fecal coliform contamination of bivalve tissue. This
was done to assess the impact of sewage discharge from recreational boats
anchored in the inlet. Findings revealed that the Pacific Littleneck was the most
abundant species at 0 meters elevation, while the Japanese Littleneck was most
abundant at 1 meter elevation. Fecal coliform levels in bivalve tissue was found to
be within acceptable levels in all reaches within the study area. Coliform levels
were expected to be higher in the anchorage area; however, the highest levels
where found in the mouth region.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                     Page 21 of 37
Vegetation Survey of Roger’s Farm Property and Assessment of Wildflower
Response to Snowberry Removal in the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana)
Woodland on Christmas Hill

June 2002

Louise Bacon, Matt Davidson, Blake Paulson, Ian Wrohan


An extensive botanical survey of the Roger’s Farm addition to Christmas Hill
Nature Sanctuary was conducted in an attempt to characterize the meadow and
outcrop sites. The vegetation was classified into plant communities to facilitate
later restoration efforts. The Roger’s Farm property was compared and contrasted
with a relatively undisturbed Garry Oak savannah location (Cowichan Garry Oak
Preserve) and a heavily disturbed floodplain site (Bowker Creek).

A previous study on the effects of the removal of the shrub common snowberry
(Symphoricarpos albus) on the growth of white fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum)
on Christmas Hill was continued. This experimental approach was expanded to an
additional site and recommendations for future research and use of this technique
were made.

Based on the above analyses concerning the invasive, exotic, and native species
composition on the Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, including the Roger’s Farm
property and a literature review, recommendations for management and future
study were made.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                    Page 22 of 37
Watercress Stream Salmonid Habitat Assessment


Pamela Dinn, Adam Hliva, Steve Gillanders, Michelle Kehler


Small tributaries are found throughout the Cowichan Valley and are essential
components to a healthy watershed. With development and urban encroachment, it
has become increasingly necessary to map and collect baseline data on these areas
in order to identify sensitive habitats and make knowledgeable land use decisions.
A Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) project was undertaken in the
spring of 2002, by a group of Camosun College students that focused on an
unmapped tributary to the Cowichan River. This tributary, known as Watercress
Stream, had been identified in earlier reports as potential suitable salmonid rearing
habitat. The objectives of the project were to utilize SHIM in the collection of data
to be used to create digital maps, assess the salmonid rearing potential, and conduct
a presence/absence study of salmonids within the study area. Using the procedures
as outlined in SHIM, data was collected on three separate occasions for a total of
five days. Upon analysis of the data, it was revealed that most of the habitat
parameters associated with rearing were acceptable and in many cases in the
optimal range for salmonid rearing success. Coho fry were also found throughout
the study area, which suggested a healthy distribution of rearing juveniles. GPS
was used to create a spatially accurate map of the stream centerline and
surrounding wetland. The report along with the associated data deliverables was
sent to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to be incorporated in their database.
Although the habitat requirements for rearing were acceptable for most salmonids,
it should be noted that Coho were the only rearing species trapped and there may
be other limiting factors to certain species, which the data did not capture. It is
recommended that the baseline data collected be used in conjunction with further
studies to assess the potential of habitat enhancement and/or protection of
Watercress Stream.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 23 of 37
2003 Projects

Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory of the Bird Cove Watershed, Read Island,

June, 2003

Eve Flager, Kristi Wilson, Kirsten White

The project, completed between May 7-15, 2003, included a Fish and Fish
Habitat inventory and the Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping of the Bird
Cove watershed on Read Island, British Columbia.
The survey methodology implemented the Resource Inventory Standards
Committee (RISC) Reconnaissance (1:20,000) Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory and
selected modules from the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation (PSKF) Handbook.
These procedures were used to gather data pertaining to the physical, biological,
and chemical attributes of the watershed which were then assessed using PSKF
modules 2 and 3; habitat and water quality assessments to rate its ability to support
salmonid growth and development. PSKF module 4, Invertebrate Survey was used
to sample EPT invertebrate orders to support water quality results. The watershed
was also sampled for the presence of coho and chum salmon juveniles and
cutthroat trout to
confirm the results of the water and habitat quality assessments. It was found that
all streams included in the survey were adequately capable of supporting salmonid
growth and development. The mapping component implemented RISC standards
and Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) procedures to allow the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans to produce a map of the streams surveyed in
the Bird Cove watershed.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 24 of 37
Mt. Matheson Baseline Inventory

June 2003

Rose Flemstrom, Jessica Murray and Jeremy Gatten

This report was prepared by Camosun College Environmental Technology students
Rose Flemstrom, Jeremy Gatten and Jessica Murray. The following information
was collected from a property on Mount Matheson owned by Doug and Carla
Funk, which is going to be preserved by a conservation covenant through the
Habitat Acquisition Trust. This report describes the physical and biological
conditions of the property at the time the survey was performed (May 20 – June
12, 2003) and will be used as a baseline inventory for future monitoring to ensure
the integrity of the covenant. It should be noted that the format for this report
follows the Baseline Inventory of the Morte Lake Property report, prepared by
Nature Conservancy of Canada 2002.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                    Page 25 of 37
Sustainable Housing

June 2003

Steve McLeod, Andrea Pickard

Scope of Project

This scope of this project was to assess the extent of readily available technologies
and proven design concepts that could be used in current residential building
practices to reduce our ecological footprint and provide a more sustainable,
environmentally friendly home.

In this project we approached the subject for a sustainable home in an urban
environment, therefore considering a single family dwelling, on an urban lot, with
the climate of Victoria.

The scale of this project limited us to a generalized approach of the design we
would propose as a home for a pilot study.
It is not an in-depth study of the financial feasibility, nor the precise engineered
specifications of a home; these factors are too dependent upon individual choice
and actual environmental factors of such a study.

Given that, we selected relatively simplified methods for the design and
technological approaches, since we believe that broad acceptance by the general
public would be improved if the alternatives were not seen as too radical or
technically complex.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                         Page 26 of 37
2004 Projects

Environmental Assessment of Dunn’s Nook


Diana Freethy, Yolanda Oleksyn, Sherry Steele

The purpose of this sustainability research project is to assess the ecology integrity
of Dunn’s Nook. This sensitive intertidal habitat is located adjacent to Esqiumalt
Harbour in a heavily industrially impacted area. The project was divided into four
surveys: Sediment, Intertidal Habitat, Clams and Invertebrates. The sediment
survey consisted of 18 sample sites randomly placed. The intertidal habitat, clam
and invertebrates surveys took place in 14 sites, as four sites were subtidal.
Sediment results were compared to two previous studies, to determine if there was
a change in contaminant levels. Due to exceedances Dunn’s Nook is still deemed a
contaminated site. The intertidal habitat survey was completed to describe the area
and allow comparison of ecology with other similar sites. The clam survey was
done to determine presence and abundance while comparing to two other sites. The
invertebrate survey was done to determine relative abundance within the site.
Together the sediment results; clam and invertebrate results were used to statically
determine if a trend existed between mean number of clams or invertebrate taxa
and the number of contaminant exceedence’s at any given site. This trend was
disproven using Kruskal-Wallis testing, but this could be attributed to the lack of
taking into account intertidal zonation combined with a small sample size.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                        Page 27 of 37
Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping: Dirk Van der Meer Property, Metchosin BC
June 14, 2004

Michael Achuff, April Jackson, Ryan Spillett, Kelly Tradewell


A detailed description of terrestrial ecosystems and soils distribution was
completed for the Camosun College Dirk Van der Meer property: a 65 hectare
parcel located in Metchosin, BC within the Coastal Western Hemlock
Biogeoclimatic Zone. In total, six different ecosystems and four soil classes were
described. In addition, existing inventories of physical, biological and
anthropogenic features were updated and incorporated into a GIS database to
support educational activities and management of the property. The twelve map
layers created are the most complete description of the property to date. The high
diversity of ecosystems observed underlines the ecological importance of this
property and its potential to support educational opportunities and regional
conservation efforts.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 28 of 37
The Natural History of Hutton’s Vireo - Vireo huttoni insularis


John Dewis, Kendra Harris, Anne Kranenburg


Vireo huttoni insularis, a sub species of Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni), is a small
passerine indigenous to Vancouver Island. Very little information is known about
this bird in respect to its habitat preferences, mate establishment and nesting
chronology. The purpose of this study is to contribute to this scientific data and to
determine a general life history of this species. Observations and data collection
were conducted using modified transects and variable radius point counts during
the breeding season, between February and May 2004. A standardized data sheet
created for the project was used to record findings. Of many initial sites studied, 2
nesting sites and 4 additional territories were located and observed. Frequency of
use within the territory was determined by marking each bird sighting on a map of
the area. From this map a habitat description was conducted using provincial
standard forms for Ecosystem Site descriptions and Vegetation plots. The data
collected on Hutton’s vireo habitat collaborates with previously collect data on this
subject. Many new findings were discovered in respect to mate establishment,
general behaviour and nest chronology.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 29 of 37
2005 Projects

Acoustic Seabed Classification of Baynes Sound and the Determination of
Impacts on the Benthic Environment from Bivalve Aquaculture
June 2005

Sheila Carroll, Ruth-Ann Devos, Bruce Provan


An acoustic seabed classification was conducted in Baynes Sound, British
Columbia, to establish a baseline inventory of current benthic environments, and to
assess potential benthic impacts of shellfish farms. After an acoustic survey using
QTC VIEW 4 was conducted, groundtruthing using grab samples was carried out
in order to attribute geophysical characteristics to the acoustic classification
scheme. Grab samples and underwater video were also collected at farm and
corresponding reference sites as part of the impact assessment. Nine acoustic
classes were identified; however, geophysical characteristics cannot be concretely
attributed to these acoustic classes until further groundtruthing occurs. There were
definite differences between shellfish farm sites and reference sites suggesting
there are impacts on the benthic environment from shellfish farms. However, the
acoustic classification did not identify these differences. Further studies are
required to test for the best ways to approach monitoring shellfish farms using
acoustic data.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 30 of 37
Botanical Beach Tidal Pool Mapping and Monitoring
June, 2005

Marcie Ambeault, Shamus Curtis, Grace Stubblefield


The overall aim of this study of the tidal pools at Botanical Beach was to continue the tidal pool
mapping and monitoring of indicator species to better understand diversity and abundance within the
park area. It was also meant to study the effects of human usage within the park boundaries, and to
build upon existing data in the attempt to analyze whether continued usage, at current or increasing
levels, can be sustained without damaging the complex biological systems found throughout the tidal
pools, and the overall ecology of Botanical Beach.

The first objective of this project was to inventory another area of tidal pools in Botanical Beach
Park. The section sampled was southeast of the previous year’s sampling area and of the Trailhead
reference point. Information collected was added to the existing database of tidal pool inventory.
This was accomplished by following the methodologies and guidelines in the Tidepool Mapping
and Inventory of Botanical Beach project, completed in June 2004 by Alvarez, Barry, Piquard, and
Stewart (Alvarez et al., 2004). The tidal pools sampled and data collected during the spring of 2004
were not resampled during this endeavor, as our objective was to increase the area of tidal pools
documented and studied at Botanical Beach Park.

The second objective of this project was to expand the GIS database of tidal pools, started by
Camosun College Environmental Technology students in 2004, by adding our Area C to the
existing one. This would add to the ongoing inventorying of tidal pools within the Botanical Beach
park boundaries, as requested by BC Parks. The tidal pool data collected from each year of study
can be added to a GIS software program such as ArcView or ArcInfo in order to create maps or
perform further queries or analysis.

The third objective was to statistically analyze data compiled by Dr. Megan Dethier of the University
of Washington at Botanical Beach from 1992 to present. This dataset contains information on
percentage cover of species and abundance of species which were observed in tidal pools at two
locations within the park boundary, “Trailhead” and “Palm Point.” On a yearly basis, the same 3
tidal pools were sampled in each of the upper, mid-, and lower intertidal zones within each of the two
sampling location. During her field work, Dr. Dethier also analyzed the fluctuation of a population
of rare brown algae, Postelsia spp, over time. Located on the tip of the Palm Point sampling location,
this brown algae is found atop of a rocky islet which juts out past the lowest tide zone, and is only
exposed for short periods of time. Dr. Dethier estimated that the population at this sampling spot

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                                     Page 31 of 37
represents approximately 40% of the total local population. Dr. Dethier also sampled the intertidal
zone using quadrats laid parallel to the shore along transects at each of the two locations (BC Parks,
1992). In this report we focused on the data pertaining to tidal pools sampled at each of the locations,
and the population fluctuation of the brown algae Postelsia spp. The many studies that Dr. Dethier
and her students have conducted have been used for marine biology educational purposes and have
been provided to BC Parks for future conservation studies.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                                       Page 32 of 37
Copper Loading and Stream Flow Below the Abandoned Mount Washington
Copper Mine, British Columbia

JUNE 20, 2005



This project studies the remediation of acid mine drainage and subsequent copper
concentrations at the abandoned copper mine on Mt. Washington, British
Columbia. In the 1980s, following a decline in salmon populations in the Tsolum
river, studies attributed poor water quality to acid mine drainage, and high levels of
copper in the creeks flowing off the mine site. Various remediation projects were
initiated, and studies were conducted to measure their efficiency, including
monitoring copper concentration in the creeks. Historically the highest
measurements of copper have coincided with periods of high water flow. This
project involved the collection and analysis of discharge and copper loading data,
and determined that a clear relationship exists between the two variables at most
times of year. When discharge is low to moderate, the supply of weathered copper
on the mine site is ample, and the loading-discharge relationship is discharge-
dependent and linear. Because of this linearity, the relationship can be used as a
predictive model during periods of low-moderate discharge, and can reflect the
results of future remediation. During the high discharge seasons of late spring
snow-melt and winter rains, however, the supply of weathered copper appears to
become depleted. During these times, the relationship between loading and flow is
non-linear, and perhaps non-existent.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                       Page 33 of 37
2006 Projects

Biodegradable Soaps vs. Non-biodegradable Soaps Used in the Automotive

June 2006

Michelle Allen, Sean Buck


       This project took a look at different soaps that are used to wash cars in the
automotive industry in the Rock Bay area of Victoria, B.C. The hypothesis stated
that biodegradable soaps would be less harmful to the environment than non-
biodegradable soaps with respect to environmental parameters such as pH and total
suspended solids (TSS). We selected four sites for our sampling and had six
replicas for each site. We also gave two sites soaps that were considered
biodegradable. In total we had six soaps that were tested. Also, background
sampling was done on days when there was no washing to see what the result was
compared to days when there was car washing. Our results showed that the
biodegradable soaps had lower TSS values and the non-biodegradable soaps had
higher TSS values. The background results showed significantly lower TSS
values. The pH values of the soaps generally were within the range stated by the
CRD bylaws. This experiment showed that there is an obvious difference between
biodegradable and non-biodegradable soaps.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 34 of 37
Spectacle Lake: Copper Concentration Study And Passive Acid Mine
Drainage Remediation Assessment

June 2006

George Walton, Erich Bell, Jennifer Cameron, Devin Hayward


Mount Washington Mine in British Columbia is a major source of copper pollution
in the Tsolum River. In fall 2003, Spectacle Lake below Mount Washington was
converted to a passive treatment for acid mine drainage when an 850m section of
Pyrrhotite Creek was diverted into the wetland. This project analyses the
accumulation of copper in Spectacle Lake. Sediment and organic samples were
collected in May 2006 from the four strata of: open water; sand bar; riparian; and,
outlet channel. The samples were digested with aqua regia. The filtered extract
was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The obtained copper
values represented the total copper concentrations in the samples. Values from the
four strata were analyzed statistically to ascertain if a significant difference was
found between and within the strata. It was found that the riparian zone differed
significantly from the other strata with several outliers. A GeoExplorer XT GPS
unit was used to plot the sample points and the four strata geographically. ArcGis
9.1 software was used to create a map including all the data points. For the
statistical analysis we preformed the non-parametric Mood Median Test using
Minitab version 14.1. It was found that copper levels were significantly higher
across from the intake of Pyrrhotite Creek within the riparian and open water
strata. The outlet channel was found to have higher concentrations as well but
decreased as the samples neared the exit of the channel. The high concentrations
found in all four strata exceeded schedule five of the contaminated site standards.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                      Page 35 of 37
The Development of a Species at Risk Hazard Rating Tool for the Department
of National Defence

26 June 2006

Kendra Beauchamp, Jennifer Drury & Shauna Francis

Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), the West Coast Formation of the Department
of National Defence (DND), is the steward of a number of properties in British
Columbia, and is required to comply by federal environmental laws and
regulations. The Species At Risk Act (SARA) is one such federal law; it requires
federal land managers to investigate properties for potential species, ensuring the
protection of extirpated, endangered or threatened species that have been identified
and inventoried on administered lands. MARPAC properties have been
extensively surveyed and a number of Species at Risk have been identified and
mapped. The Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot (CFAD) Rocky Point is a DND
property that contains a high abundance and variety of SAR; a significant
proportion of its land is inhabited by Garry oak (Quercus garryana). Over 100
species are listed as “at risk of extinction” in Garry oak and associated ecosystems
and a major threat to these species and ecosystems is the prevalence of invasive
exotic plants ( On this property, the threat of invasive species, such as
Scotch broom (Cystisus scoparius) and European gorse (Ulex europaeus), pose a
serious management challenge for DND in meeting the requirements as mandated
by SARA. This purpose of this project was to provide DND with the quantitative
means by which to prioritize the clearing of these invasive species from the Rocky
Point property, specifically Area B, thereby protecting the Species at Risk
identified there. It is also the aim of this project to create a Species at Risk Hazard
Rating Tool that DND can utilize and share with members of Species at Risk
Recovery Teams, such as the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, of which
DND is an active participant. The tool was created with the intent that it could be
adapted and manipulated to determine the hazard rating of a number of land
management/natural resource issues.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                         Page 36 of 37
Vermiremediation of PAH Contaminated Soil

June 2006

Susan Aylard, Cory Hastings, Karen Kneier and Silvia Liedtke


The potential use of earthworms for the remediation of soils contaminated with
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was investigated in a lab-based
experiment. Earthworms (Eisenia fetida and Lumbricus terrestris) were added to
soils spiked with a cocktail of PAHS (anthracene, phenathrene, pyrene, chrysene,
and fluorene) at seven different concentrations. After 24 days, PAHs were
extracted from the soils and analyzed using a gas chromatograph; statistical
analyses were calculated for paired comparisons of the initial and final PAH
concentrations in the soil. Many of the worms developed external growths and
lesions in the vicinity of the clitellum; overall survival was 66.3% for Eisenia
fetida and 6.3% for Lumbricus terrestris. Despite the variability of the data and
low survival rates, it was concluded that earthworms could be used to remediate
PAH contaminated soil. Recommendations regarding the experimental design and
procedures developed for this project are outlined and the applicability of
vermiremediation is discussed.

ENVR 208 Projects with Abstracts                                    Page 37 of 37