2016 Annual Report

Thursday, May 5 at 7 pm
At the Pender Anglican Parish Hall

Approval of the Agenda

Approval of the Minutes of the 2015 AGM held on May 7th, 2015

Financial Report  for 2015

Report from the Board

The Report from the Board includes reports on the projects and events of the past year:

1) Covenant Monitoring

2) Medicine Beach Stewardship

3) Forage Fish Monitoring

4) Hope Bay Salmon Stream Restoration Project

5) Events and Educational Activities

6) Future projects 

Elections of Directors

The constitution allows for up to 10 Directors who are elected for a two-year term. Nominees must be paid-up members of PICA.

Retiring from the Board

John Chapman 

Nominations to the Board from the floor 

Other Business


Break for Refreshments

An Evening with Chris Genovali  

Chris Genovali is the Executive Director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Chris leads Raincoast’s campaigns to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest and Salish Sea. 


Report from the Board for the Annual General Meeting

May 7, 2016

Serving on the PICA Board of Directors during the past year have been:

Eleanor Brownlee   President
Graham Boffey   Vice President & Stewardship Committee Chair
Rhondda Porter   Secretary
Ursula Poepel   Treasurer
Davy Rippner   Website, E-news, & Publicity
Patti Badcock   Forage Fish Monitoring
Sara Steil   Marine Environment Initiatives & Special Events 
John Chapman

John Chapman's two-year term has ended and he has announced that he will not be standing for re-election.  John has recently taken over as the Chair of the Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission.  He has volunteered to act as the Parks liaison with PICA   The Board would like to thank John for his contribution to the Board.

A number of special events have taken place since our last AGM.

PICA's Annual Beach Clean-up in honour of Earth Day   

The most recent event on the PICA calendar was the April 23rd Beach Clean-up.  The event was organized by Trinette Prior and Elizabeth Miles.  According to the organizers, 133 people participated, a notable increase over last year. Almost every beach on the island had people signed up to collect debris.  One and a half bins were required to take the 1230 kg of debris off the island.  A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers who helped unload the cars, to the sponsors who donated prizes, to the Green Angels who provided the funding for the soup, coffee, carrot cake prepared by Slow Coast, and to everyone who helped make the day such a success, especially Trinette and Elizabeth.  A full write-up of the event appeared in the June edition of the Pender Post.

Medicine Beach’s 20th Anniversary October 17th 

On October 17, 2015, we celebrated an amazing event in the history of PICA. In 1995, after an amazing eight-month fundraising campaign, the community had raised $533,997 to secure the 20 acres of shoreline, marsh and upland which form the Medicine Beach Nature Sanctuary.  On October 17th, many of the members of the original fund-raising group and PICA volunteers gathered at Medicine Beach to celebrate this achievement.  Medicine Beach's 20th Anniversary party came complete with a cake, the Medicine Beach song, a forage fish monitoring display, and live music.  

Groundwater Presentation October 10th 

On Saturday, October 10th, a full-to-overflowing crowd gathered at the Community Hall to hear Dr. Jim Henderson’s presentation “Truths and Misconceptions about Pender Islands’ Groundwater: Planning for the Future”.  The event was sponsored by PITPS, PICA and the CRD.  Dr. Henderson is a geophysicist based in Calgary who specializes in risk management as it relates to water. Information and statistics related to his talk can be found on the PICA website.

Orca Day, July 18th

On Saturday, July 18th a super pod of people gathered at Thieves' Bay for a special day, "Celebrating the Orca of the Salish Sea". They were joined by orca researchers from Whidbey Island and Friday Harbour on San Juan Island.  There were displays, whale adoptions, presentations by Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research, Howard Garrett of the Orca Network, and Jenny Atkinson from The Whale Museum.  There was also live music and an opportunity to have a picnic on the grass or to buy refreshments from an enthusiastic group of parents and children.  A special thanks to Sara Steil who coordinated the event. The event was sponsored by the Pender Island Power and Sail Squadron with PICA and the Pender Islands Trust Protection Society (PITPS) as co-sponsors.

Workshop on Covenants for Realtors June 23rd

The Islands Trust Fund and PICA hosted a workshop and luncheon for realtors and lawyers interested in learning more about covenants; what they are, how they work and how they can benefit landowners. 

PICA is also involved in a number of long-term projects.  The Board would like to give you a short update on our current projects and some information on two new ones which are looking for volunteers.

Covenant Monitoring 

PICA and the Islands Trust Fund are co-covenant holders on 16 properties on North Pender.  PICA is also the sole covenant holder on a small covenant which protects a portion of the Medicine Beach marsh and the channel which drains out of it and into the ocean.

PICA provides information to property owners on the advantages of placing a covenant on their properties in order to protect sensitive island ecosystems. “A conservation covenant is a formal commitment you can make to protect the natural features on your property.   With a conservation covenant, you still own your land, can live on the property, and sell it whenever you want.  The covenant binds future owners to the same promises you made, meaning the landscape you've loved and cared for remains protected forever.”  (Islands Trust Fund) 

Residents of the Pender Islands can take advantage of the Natural Areas Protection Taxation Exemption Program (NAPTEP) which is only available to residents of the Islands Trust Area.  This program offers property owners a 65% reduction in the property taxes on the covenanted area.  To help property owners cover the costs of placing a covenant on their property, the family of Barrie Morrison has established the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund.  Information about both these programs can be found on the Islands Trust Fund website. www.islandstrustfund.bc.ca

As part of the ecological protection of covenants, ITF and PICA participate in a yearly monitoring of the covenants of which they are co-covenant holders.  On May 27th and 28th Chris Ferris, the ITF biologist, came to Pender for the 2015 monitoring.  All the covenants were found to be in good order.

Medicine Beach

In addition to being co-covenant holders of the Medicine Beach Nature Sanctuary, PICA is also responsible for the stewardship of the area and our next project will be to conduct a baseline survey in preparation of the renewal of the management contract in 2017.

Last year saw the installation of the framework for three information panels.  This project has been coordinated by our Vice President and Stewardship Committee Chair, Graham Boffey.  His work has involved research, writing of the text, contact with First Nations, and working with the Islands Trust Fund in the creation of the panels.  The three panels will have information about forage fish, the ecological importance of the area and First Nations' History.  The Islands Trust Fund is finalizing the work and the panels will be installed this summer.  PICA is planning on having an 'unveiling' party to celebrate the arrival of the panels. We will let you know the date.

IMG 1680

Forage Fish Monitoring

PICA has been participating in a Forage Fish Monitoring Program since 2010. The Forage Fish Monitoring team is under the direction of Jon Ruiz, who organizes the volunteers   In May 2015, a grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation made it possible for Ramona de Graaf of the BC Shore Spawners Alliance to offer a course for Forage Fish Monitoring teams.  Jon and Candis Zell attended the two-day workshop to learn the newest collection protocols and how to do the testing of the samples on-island.  

The team has been monitoring a number of beaches to see if they are being used for spawning by either surf smelt or sand lance. In the past year, volunteers have taken samples from Medicine Beach, Hamilton Beach, Irene Bay, and Boathouse Bay. 

Until this year, only Medicine Beach and Mortimer Spit had proven positive for forage fish spawning, although egg cases had been found in samples from Hamilton Beach.

We received confirmation that the samples we took in the middle of December on Hamilton Beach have tested positive for surf smelt!  It seems that our willingness to turn up on a rainy windy days in winter to take samples has been rewarded. 

Hope Bay Stream Salmon Restoration Project

The Hope Bay stream is the only documented salmon stream on Pender Island.  Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) records indicate chum salmon were using the creek for spawning and rearing up to the mid-1980s.  PICA has been actively involved this project since 2010.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation has given PICA grants to support our project to restore salmon to the stream. The Goldstream Hatchery supplies the eggs for our project.  Lisa Fleming, Elizabeth Miles, Jill Ilsley, and Bob Simons coordinate the various activities involved in the project.

On January 20th, 40,000 eggs were placed in an incubation chamber in the stream. Volunteers continued to monitor the stream temperature and flow on a daily basis.  In the middle of February heavy rainfall caused a flash flood which dislodged the cassette.  By this time, based on the Accumulated Thermal Units, the eggs should have hatched and hidden themselves in the gravel to use up their egg sacs before becoming free-swinging fry ready to swim out to sea.  On April 12th, the team stopped monitoring the stream temperature as the maximum thermal units had been reached.  

On April 29th, a group of local children and children from the Hope Bay Bible Camp got together to plant 20 Douglas fir seedlings which had been donated to PICA.  

In addition to these projects, PICA volunteers continue to work SeaChange on their eelgrass restoration projects.  On July 31st for the second year in a row, volunteers attached weights to eelgrass in preparation for transplanting.  Divers from SeaChange placed the transplants at the entrance to Bracket Cove.  We also offer on-going financial and volunteer support to the Purple Martin Recovery project, and work with the Pender Island Field Naturalists to support the Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids every January.

Future Projects:

Kelp Mapping in the Southern Gulf Islands

On March 12th and 13th the Mayne Island Conservancy hosted the 2016 Conservation Conference. Representatives from thirty-four groups from thirteen communities around the Salish Sea attended a series of workshops and discussions.  At the conference PICA was asked to join a project to document the location of kelp beds by combining satellite images with on the water documentation by volunteers in kayaks.

Eel Grass project

All photos by Rhondda Porter

Bat Monitoring

PICA has been approached by HAT (Habitat Acquisition Trust) to work with PIFN (Pender Island Field Naturalists) on a bat monitoring project.  The first phase of the project is to identify the sites where bats roost and to collect samples of bat guano for testing.  David Manning has offered to coordinate the project.  You can contact David here.

Submitted by Rhondda Porter on behalf of the Board.