2023: Year in Review

2023: Year in Review

It is hard to believe that this will be our eighth year of existence as an organization. One more Annual General Meeting is in the books. This year’s was held on January 25th. Here are some highlights from our President’s Report:

Five-year plan:

This comprehensive document was completely and tabled in early summer 2023. It gives this organization a huge grounding in its decisions on funding projects, documenting activity, visions, and continuity planning moving forward. It has already made the crafting of the 2024 budget a smoother process. It is to be updated annually by the executive to include a full 5-year period. Congratulations to all the folks hard work, true vision, and collaboration in taking this maturing step as non- profit society. Our next step is to form a “Strategic Planning Sub-committee.” This team will work to form a BWS Scientific Advisory Group as a first step.


This entire program expanded in 2023. The Ground Water sampling program increased by five new sensors. The Stream sampling program renamed the North and South Pods to the Royston and Fanny Bay Pod respectfully – primarily due to the planned start of the Bowser Pod in 2024. The expansion of our sampling is moving into the Nanaimo Regional District in the first months of new year. Thanks to Sharon, and Manfred for being the new pod leaders for this area. Also, thanks to Pam to doing all the groundwork for this this exciting new frontier in another Regional District.


A significant achievement this year was BWS’s first real science paper, “Evaluating the Use of Electrical Resistivity Sounding to Characterize Aquifers in the Beaufort Watershed, B.C.” It was published by the BC Government in their “Water Science Series – December 2022 edition”. A huge congratulations to Mark Lake getting this done, working together with UVic. In addition, Mark and his co-author Mike Wei presented this paper to the Canadian chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists at their annual conference in Vancouver in November2023.

The Tsable River Cumulative Effects (CE) GIS Assessment Project was completed in 2023. This project was funded partly by the CVRD grant and enabled BWS to hire a GIS tech to perform all the hard analysis. The final report was written in Dec 2023 and is published on the BWS website for public review. The overall findings were that the Tsable River watershed has a HIGH risk of being negatively impacted by industrial forest harvesting development – this is significant. The report’s findings were presented to the CVRD and all interested parties in Jan 2024.

Communications, Community Outreach and Advocacy:

These activities have increased in volunteer hours from last year and many thanks to Lynne for all her time keeping the BWS website first class and leading the many groups of volunteers per event.

Event promotion was busy, for BWS hosted tents and one walk at the following events Fanny Bay Celebrate your Community, The River Never Sleeps, Earth Day Waterloo Walk, CVCP Family Watershed Day, and Ecole Puntledge Salmon Day.


In 2023 BWS successfully sponsored a GIS practicum student with VIU – Jake LeBron. For three months Jake worked to assemble a multitude of data, maps, and images to create online interactive maps of the Beaufort Watersheds. He did a great job in setting up our live GIS interactive map on our website for the first time. This project was a test in working with VIU and sponsoring a student. This was lot of work for Mark as the BWS contact and project supervisor, but well worth it – thanks to Mark!! As a result, BWS has developed a new partnership with VIU and as a result has applied for a GIS student again for the spring semester of 2024. Projects have been lined up for that timeframe and should produce more valuable products.

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