The Comox Valley continues to boom and this rapid growth trend has increased development around Morrison Creek. The mid-sections of Morrison Creek have, until recently, been relatively un-touched by development. However, the building boom has now reached this area. Some of these new developments are quite close to the creek. The construction of buildings and accompanying clearing of land near the creek can have severe impacts on fish habitat and on the health of the watershed.
Increased housing density, impervious surfaces, road and stormdrain networks, have been shown to seriously degrade ecosystem health in urbanizing watersheds, by reducing streamside vegetation, decreasing summer flows, increasing peak flows, degrading in-stream habitat and degrading water quality.
The most immediate is loss of the riparian zone; streamside vegetation that anchors the soil, provides shade, is a source of insects (food for fish) and acts as a filter for runoff entering the creek from the adjoining land. The clearing of the riparian area destroys all of the prior functions and often leads to further destruction of fish habitat as resultant erosion deposits silt into the stream, infilling pools and smothering spawning gravel.