Coastal sand ecosystems are incredibly unique habitats on South Vancouver Island! Generally speaking, in order for a coastal sand dune to exist, there needs to be a source of sand, or shelter from intense winds and waves. Very often, you will get a hill or cliff face that is slowly eroding and dropping sediment into the ocean. Ocean currents then carry the sand up the shoreline and deposit it on the beach. This renews the sand on the beach even when strong winds wash it away, as more sand will replace it. A great example of this system in Greater Victoria is Island View Beach and Cordova Spit. Sand is dropped from the cliffs at the south end of the beach and carried along the shoreline, landing on the beach and forming the sandspit at the north end. These unique conditions prompt unique species to adapt—this is why there are so many rare and endangered species associated with coastal sand ecosystems!
This was our last of five sessions restoring the site. Thank you to everyone who participated throughout the month to help improve this coastal sand dune ecosystem!!
Before and After Photos from our work session on August 31
Comparing when we arrived on August 16, to after we finished on August 31!
“I enjoyed helping to protect local beaches from invasive sea grass. The impact of this program is educating volunteers about invasive plants and empowering them to protect their environment from them.” – Annie
“I enjoyed removing a new invasive species for me today. It gives native beach grass a chance to thrive.” – Barbara
“Well of course, I enjoyed the amazing location, but this type of hands on restorative work allows you to see tangible results very quickly. This was a great project and it will be interesting to see how the dunes progress over the next year.” – Joseph