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Red Legged Frog from Cortes Island-Photo by: Wade Thomas
General News · 9th August 2021
Miranda Cross-FOCI
Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) and Linnaea Farm Society (LFS) are partnering to deliver the Dillon Creek Wetland Restoration Project.

This project, which has been years in the making, will benefit the health of our precious lakes, create a wonderful new habitat for wetland wildlife; and provide fantastic opportunities for nature based learning and community engagement.

We are looking for volunteers to help with seeding, mulching, Fire Watch, and other tasks for the project. If you are interested in volunteering, please be in touch with Miranda Cross, Dillon Creek Wetlands Project Manager by email:

Please note: during construction the road and trail from the Linnaea Farm parking lot to Kwa's park will be closed to the public. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for helping us to keep everyone safe around the Heavy Equipment work site. We will be hauling gravel and coarse woody debris along the access road from the Linnaea Farm parking lot to the fields. Please do not use this road for any purpose during the project dates.

Love the Lakes and Wonderful Wetlands
In 2014, Hague and Gunflint lakes experienced significant algae blooms, and further blooms have occurred each year since. Ongoing blooms can be detrimental to the long-term health of the lakes, reducing water quality and harming lake wildlife. Blooms are caused by nutrient inputs including from residential/agricultural runoff, leaky septic systems, and erosion during intense high rain events.

FOCI’s Love the Lakes Project has been working since 2014 to monitor the health of the lakes, educate the community, and find solutions to reduce nutrient inputs.
In 2018 FOCI conducted a feasibility study to look into bioremediation solutions for the lakes. It concluded that one of the best options is to restore wetlands on Linnaea Farm, to help remove nutrients from waters entering the lakes from Dillon Creek, which drains much of the adjacent watershed, and flows through Linnaea farm. We brought in Wetland Restoration Expert Tom Biebighauser to draw up the wetland restoration designs.

Wetlands are the kidneys of the planet. They filter out nutrients, contaminants, and sediments from waters flowing into aquatic environments. Restoring wetlands along Dillon Creek and elsewhere on Cortes will help to reduce nutrient inputs into our lakes.

This project will benefit the entire Cortes Community by helping to keep our precious lakes clean and healthy for recreation, drinking water, and climate resiliency. In this time of the Climate Crisis, restoring wetlands is of vital importance for the ecosystems services they provide such as; creating natural fire breaks; sequestering carbon; cleaning and storing water; providing critical habitat for wetland dependant species and Species at Risk (frogs, newts, bats, dragonflies, birds and waterfowl); and moderating climate extremes such as summer heat waves and droughts & intense winter precipitation/erosion events.

Dillon Creek Wetland Restoration– what’s involved.
Restoring wetlands along Dillon Creek will involve the construction of two wetlands along a section of the creek, using heavy equipment under the direct supervision of Wetland Restoration Expert Tom Biebighauser. Restored areas will be fenced to exclude livestock, planted with native vegetation, stewarded to control invasive species, and monitored to measure success in improving water quality and enhancing habitat for wildlife. Biological monitoring, permitting, and planning have been underway since 2019, and construction of the restored wetlands is scheduled for August 16th to 19th 2021.

Please note, we have a Fire Exemption from BC Wild Fire Service for this work. The exemption requires that we take action to reduce fire risks and be prepared to extinguish if ignition occurs. This includes having firefighting equipment on site, wetting down the site before, during, and after high risk activities, and conducting fire watch after work. The project team takes this responsibility very seriously. If you would like to volunteer for Fire Watch, please be in touch.

How you can help
1-Make a donation to help support this important project. Please donate now, if you can:
Send a cheque, payable to Friends of Cortes Island Society, memo: Dillon Creek Wetland Restoration at the address below. Or donate to FOCI online.
Donations of any size are very welcome and much appreciated.
2-Protect the lakes! Prevent erosion and manage your nutrients. Eroding soils increase nutrient transport to the lakes. Keep compost and manure piles covered. Treat and infiltrate runoff using bioswales or raingardens. Get your septic systems maintained or upgraded. Learn about and practice Coexisting with Beavers, our number one partner in climate change adaptation. Contact FOCI if you are interested in restoring wetlands on your property.
3-Volunteer to help with the project. Contact Miranda Cross at if you'd like to volunteer or for more information. We will need help with seeding, mulching, planting, and invasive species management of the restored wetlands.

For background information, studies, and reports visit the FOCI website. We will be updating our website soon with more information about the project – stay tuned!

This project would not be possible without the generous financial and in-kind support of local individuals, organizations, and the Government of Canada.,,