Restoration and management recommendations for Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park in Metchosin, BC, with special focus on Camissonia contorta habitat
Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park in Metchosin, BC, comprises a number of different ecosystems and species, including several plant and bird species scheduled under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. One of these species is contorted-pod evening-primrose (Camissonia contorta), which lives in the coastal sand ecosystem found on the sand spit. Unfortunately, the sand spit and many other areas of the park have been degraded by invasive plants and human activity. This project has two primary goals: first, to identify and prioritize existing values and threats within the park boundaries, and second, to create a restoration plan for the sand spit. These goals were achieved by following the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation set out by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP). Ten conservation targets and one human wellbeing target were chosen for the park. Field surveys were conducted to measure various indicators of health for each of the conservation targets. Miradi, CMP’s conservation software, was used to conduct viability analyses for each conservation target and threat ratings for the different threats affecting the targets. A situation diagram, which links targets to their threats and other influencing factors, was created for the entire park. Next, potential restoration strategies were identified for the sand spit. A results chain was created in Miradi to illustrate how each strategy would affect the associated targets and what type of activities would be required to achieve the desired restoration results. This project showcases a successful collaboration between local government, the community, and academic institutions, and offers an excellent example of quantitative, documented restoration planning that combines complex goals into a unified framework.