Central Saanich's natural environment is as rich and diverse as it is breathtaking. Five rare and ecologically fragile ecosystems of Vancouver Island are found within the District. The natural environment cleans our air and water, attracts birds and wildlife, provides shade and moderates our climate. It also makes our community beautiful and enhances our wellbeing.
The District is committed to maintaining a harmonious relationship with the natural environment. Central to that philosophy is to retain, protect and enhance the range of environments, which include marine shoreline, farmland, wetland, creeks and streams, treed ecosystems, and environmentally sensitive areas.
Protecting our environment
Sensitive areas - A number of areas in the District have been identified as a Development Permit area for the protection of the natural environment, its ecosystems and biological diversity. These areas include:
- Riparian and Sensitive Aquatic Ecosystems (creeks, streams etc)
- Marine Shoreline
- Sensitive Terrestrial Ecosystems
Tree canopy management - Tree preservation is a recognized climate mitigation measure. Not only are trees key to carbon sequestration, they can also support storm water management, reduce the urban heat island effect, provide habitat and enhance biodiversity. Central Saanich has seen significant tree canopy loss, and is working to slow current loss and eventually increase our canopy cover. Our Tree Management Bylaw regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees and sets requirements for replacing trees.
Native plants - Native plants help restore our natural heritage and ecosystems, while also being easy to maintain, disease and drought tolerant and attracting beneficial insects. In addition, they provide food and shelter for wildlife and help enrich soils and reduce erosion and runoff. See our Native Plant Guide for a list of suitable plants. Complementary to planting native plants, is managing invasive ones.
Stormwater drainage - Stormwater has an ongoing impact on the quality of freshwater and marine environments. Careful management ensures discharge does not adversely impacts the marine environment. Central Saanich's Integrated Stormwater Management Plan identifies projects to improve rainwater runoff impacts. The three large watersheds in Central Saanich are Hagan-Graham, Tetayut and McHugh-Noble.
Water conservation - Our water service is supplied and maintained by CRD Drinking Water Services. We enjoy some of the best quality drinking water in the world and maintaining this critical resource requires each of us to use water with care. Check out these Fact Sheets to learn ways your family can help to conserve water. Find out your watering days by address when watering restrictions are in place.
Pesticide use - Pesticide use is prohibited, by bylaw no. 1688, on any public land in Central Saanich. Pesticide is the general term for any substance designed to eliminate undesired insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, bacteria and other organisms. Pesticides come in many forms and can be categorized as insecticides (for insects), herbicides (for weeds), and fungicides (for fungal diseases). To determine if a product is a pesticide check the label. Any product that has a Pest Control Product or PCP number near the list of ingredients is a pesticide. Central Saanich uses natural controls and alternatives on public property.
Rodenticide use - Rats and mice can cause property damage and health problems. The most effective and economical long-term solution to get rid of a rodent problem (and prevent it from happening again) is to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. When prevention is not successful, snap traps or electronic traps are considered the best treatment option. Rodenticides are highly toxic and can pose a risk to people, pets and wildlife. Many rodenticides have restricted uses in B.C. Visit www.gov.bc.ca/RodentIPM to learn more.