Shelly Creek, home to cutthroat trout, migrating coho and steelhead smolt, turtles, salamanders, waterfowl, muskrats and other aquatic life, is in danger of losing the wetland habitat on which these animals depend, according to the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES).
Yellow iris has been invading the marsh beside Martindale Road for a number of years. The beautiful plant is actually an invasive species that takes over wetlands and forms such thick stands that nothing can swim or move between it. The result is a loss of aquatic habitat.
On June 15, nine volunteers from the MVIHES, Castaways and Qualicum Beach Stream Keepers dug up, hacked out and hauled out on pontoon boats, 880 kilograms of yellow iris from the marsh.
The plants were placed in plastic bags and taken to the waste transfer station to be buried and never rear their beautiful heads again.
The groups send a big thanks to the Regional District of Nanaimo who waived the disposal fees at the waste transfer station. The iris removed in June only represents 70 per cent of the stand in the Shelly Creek marsh. A second work party is planned for July.
— Submitted by MVIHES