NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says watershed project will restore and protect land      

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COURTENAY – New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says that funding through BC’s Economic Recovery Plan will help restore wetlands while creating 40 jobs and protecting the natural environment for future generations at Kus-kus-sum.

“Kus-kus-sum is an incredibly important project for our community and I’m so excited to see us building on our previous commitments to continue this project.” said MLA Leonard. “This additional funding will support the strong partnerships we’ve built over the years and enable the K’omoks First Nation, the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society and community partners to continue the vital work of turning the old mill site into a place where local wildlife can once again thrive.”

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, in partnership with K’omoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay, is dismantling and restoring Kus-kus-sum, a former sawmill site on the Courtenay River, to its native estuary saltmarsh and riverside forest. The project was awarded $1 million in 2019 and $650,000 in 2020 and this announcement builds on those investments. Restoration of this site will benefit at least nine fish species, 145 bird species, and 281 plant species. The first phase of this project will support at least 40 jobs.

This project is one of 70 local watershed and wetland initiatives recently announced by the BC New Democrat government. Through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, $27 million has been dedicated to ensure B.C.’s water ways stay healthy and resilient in a changing climate, while at the same time stimulating economic recovery by creating 750 new jobs.

The projects were identified by Watersheds BC in collaboration with partners throughout the province. Many projects are either being led by or implemented in partnership with Indigenous communities.

This initiative is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC — a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.