“Our mission is to preserve and enhance the Gorge Waterway through environmental education, restoration, conservation, stewardship, and community involvement.”

Environmental Education

The Gorge Waterway Action Society (GWAS) supports environmental education in the community through our involvement with the Gorge Waterway Nature House: a youth-focused interactive environmental education centre,  located in Esquimalt Gorge Park. GWAS supplies and manages the human resources at the Nature House, staffing it with volunteers and summer staff. The Nature House has numerous education programs catered to all age ranges and learning levels. With the interactive Seaquaria Aquarium touch tank, watershed model, and surrounding urban forest and wetlands, there are endless opportunities at the Nature House for environmental education.

Restoration and Conservation

GWAS works on restoration projects in and around Esquimalt Gorge Park, working in partnership with the Township of Esquimalt, the University of Victoria, and other environmental organizations. We focus on the removal of invasive and parasitic species in Esquimalt Gorge Park, and the planting and propagation of native species. GWAS facilitates directed research projects including a Gorge-wide directory of past and current terrestrial, riparian, and marine restoration and stewardship projects on the Gorge to create a more comprehensive overview of the habitat restoration efforts. In 2020, the Pollinator Meadow project began with photo point monitoring, biophysical inventories of vegetation, along with insect and bird surveys. The area was planted with native trees and shrubs, and seeded with native flowers such as Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Gumweed (Grindelia stricta), and Douglas Aster (Symphotrichum subspicata). Regular mulching and weeding will keep invasive species at bay while these native species become established.

Water and Land Stewardship

GWAS supports stewardship to achieve the short-, medium-, and long-term goals for protecting, enhancing, and restoring the Gorge. GWAS is a member of the Gorge Waterway Initiative (GWI), a collaborative, community-driven group of organizations concerned with protecting and enhancing the natural ecosystem of the Gorge Waterway and surrounding watersheds.

Water Quality and Clean Ups

The Gorge Waterway Action Society participates in and organizes cleanups of the waterway and shoreline.

A few of the past successes over our 20-year history