Sediment and Erosion Control Class

April 11, 2013

The City of Courtenay and Vancouver Island University (VIU) have teamed up to offer a course on erosion and sediment control in the Comox Valley at the end of this month.

The three day course runs from Tuesday, April 30 to Thursday, May 2 and will provide a comprehensive applied overview of skills, abilities and procedures required for effective erosion and sediment control planning, construction and maintenance. The course provides both class and field exercises. People involved in land development are encouraged to attend, including industry consultants, land developers, building contractors, and government personnel. The course costs $750 and is open to anyone.

The City of Courtenay has been developing an Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw over the past year which has passed first, second and third Council readings, as well as public consultation. The bylaw will be implemented within the next three months. 

When VIU learned about the upcoming bylaw, they offered to hold a course in the Comox Valley to make it easier for people to learn erosion and sediment control best practices.

"Erosion and sediment control practice is an environmental priority on most development projects,” said Ed Van Osch, course instructor. “I have seen industry make tremendous progress in their erosion and sediment control practices in the last 20 years. But, there is still a long way to go.

“My goal as an erosion and sediment control practitioner and instructor is to ensure people understand that effective erosion and sediment control is not only achievable, but benefits the environment and saves projects money. Projects need to start viewing erosion and sediment control as an opportunity, rather than a penalty.”

Nancy Hofer, the City’s environmental planner, noted the bylaw will help the City ensure they continue to meet environmental protection goals, including water quality protection. "We know that sediments from cleared properties can migrate into our storm system which can cause a tremendous burden on the capacity of our drainage system,” advised Hofer. “These sediments can also find their way into streams and wetlands, affecting fish spawning and rearing habitat.

“The bylaw helps to address gaps in our current erosion control regulations, level the playing field for the development industry, and clarify regulatory requirements."

For more information on the City of Courtenay draft Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw, or for the link to register for the course, visit . For additional information on the course, contact VIU at 250-740-6377 or email 

Ed Van Osch is Canada's foremost environmental monitoring and erosion and sediment control instructor.  Since 2004, Ed has led the development of industry-recognized training programs in environmental monitoring and erosion & sediment control, and has delivered these programs to more than 3000 Natural Resource Extension Program (NREP) course participants throughout Canada.