Science Spotlight:
A Time to Plant and a Time to Uproot

‘Tis the season of soft soil, sweetened by persistent rains—ready to embrace the roots of trees and shrubs in abundance! Across our centres in Canada, habitat restoration work has continued industriously through the fall.

  • In South Surrey and Langley BC, we have been busy restoring over 4500 m2 of streamside forest habitat, planting over 2500 native trees and shrubs across seven different sites.
  • Around Houston in Northern BC, we re-shaped and restored 350 m of eroding river bank and established 0.6 ha (1.5 acres/6500 m2) of riparian habitat. Over 3000 live willow stakes and 4000 willow seedlings were planted.

Habitat restoration of degraded sites is core to A Rocha’s work. We work with many volunteers and landowners to maximize biodiversity and ecosystem health with a focus on waterways, the circulatory system of the landscape. Knowing that these wetlands are hotspots of biodiversity and are seriously imperiled. As we improve the condition of these areas, we benefit a wide diversity of creatures including species at risk like Cutthroat Trout, Chinook Salmon, Red-legged Frog and Oregon Forestsnails.

Red-Legged Frog (Photo: Hannah Mae Henry)

Biodiversity is not the only benefit of healthy stream habitat – these wetlands, floodplains, and surrounding forests also act as carbon sinks, aiding the earth in its ability to adapt to climate change. With this in mind, stream habitat restoration is an example of Nature-based Solutions being talked about at the recent COP26 in Glasgow. A Rocha joined into the proceedings, advocating for the wise use of Nature-based Solutions to climate change to provide benefits for both human well-being and biodiversity.

Take part in restoration

  1. Read A Rocha’s position paper on Nature-based Solutions, one of the pieces to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  2. Join the online “Upper Bulkley Riverside Restoration Workshop” on December 2 hosted by our Northern BC team to learn about riparian restoration work that reduces erosion, increases flood resilience, and creates habitat.
  3. Those around the Greater Vancouver area in BC can partake in our Restoration Days which regularly meet at the Brooksdale Environmental Centre.
  4. Consider donating towards the restoration of wetlands before the end of the year!