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Vancouver Island

    Kus-kus-sum Restoration on the Courtenay River on Vancouver Island: K’omoks First Nation, City of Courtenay and Project Watershed Make History for Greener Planet


    “Restoring this cultural and historically significant site is a vision KFN shares with Project Watershed and the City of Courtenay. KFN’s interest in the site is largely based on its strong cultural significance,” stated Chief Councillor Nicole Remple, K’omoks First Nation. “Being stewards of the lands and waters, it is inherently our duty to restore and assist in the rehabilitation of the natural habitat of the salmon and various marine and wildlife in this area. It is our hope for the future that our skilled Guardian Watchmen participate in the restoration and maintenance of the site for our future generations.”

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    REPORT ON: “Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Watershed Assessment: Busy Place Creek (Sh-hwuykwselu) Demonstration Application in the Cowichan Valley” (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; released 2018)


    Like many small creeksheds, Busy Place Creek (Sh-hwuykwselu) lies in more than one authority with jurisdiction. Its upland source and discharge to the Koksilah River are in Cowichan Tribes lands, including the Cowichan-Koksilah estuary, which it nourishes. There is an opportunity to interweave Indigenous knowledge and Western science in building a strong collaboration around hydrology. “Sh-hwuykwselu belongs in our lives,” stated Tim Kulchyski when he provided historical context from a Cowichan Tribes perspective.

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    REPORT ON: “Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Watershed Assessment: Brooklyn Creek Demonstration Application in the Comox Valley” (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; released September 2018)


    “The concept of natural capital and natural assets can be a challenge to integrate effectively into asset management practices,” stated Kim Stephens. “Local governments need ‘real numbers’ to deliver outcomes and support decision making. EAP – Ecological Accounting Process – deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors? Selection of Brooklyn Creek as an ‘EAP Demonstration Application’ was made possible by the willingness of the Town of Comox to participate in a program funded by the governments of Canada and BC.”

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    VIDEO: “The Town of Comox is a leader among municipalities in taking care of a ‘creekshed’ and enjoying a package of ecological services provided by it,” stated Tim Pringle when he debriefed Council about the Brooklyn Creek Demonstration Application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP)


    “This demonstration application of the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) has endeavoured to establish what the Brooklyn Creekshed may be worth from the point of view of investments made in the lower catchment by the Town of Comox and other intervenors / managers. As well, this demonstration application of a systems approach provides context for identifying future opportunities to access more ecological services from the middle and upper catchments of the creekshed to serve human demands as well as the intrinsic needs of nature,” stated Tim Pringle.

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    ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (Summer 2018): “BC municipalities and regional districts, their respective CAOs and staff would benefit from guidance to a common communications approach to enhance asset management practices,” wrote David Allen, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Courtenay


    “Ironically, while AM BC has championed the need for sustainable service delivery, it has increasingly recognized the need to address its own sustainability in maintaining an independent and neutral position in supporting other local governments,” stated David Allen. “This is possibly why there has not yet been a collation of policy practices offered in support of CAOs and council/board elected officials where, from a public administrator’s perspective, something of that nature would be very useful.”

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    ASSET MANAGEMENT BC NEWSLETTER (Winter 2018): “Operationalizing Asset Management: It’s about People, Too” – David Love, City of Courtenay


    “In the spring of 2016 ‘Operationalizing Asset Management’ was ready. We then developed a comprehensive change management plan consisting of workshops, presentations and dialogue amongst all the affected persons,” stated David Love. “The whole thing was led by the CAO, and supported by Council’s Asset Management Policy that had set guidelines for implementing an organization-wide Asset Management processes. This was completed in the fall and the changes were then implemented en masse.”

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    DOWNLOAD: “The Story of the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series” – following release of Living Water Smart, this grass-roots capacity-building program was undertaken in response to the Province’s call to action create greener communities and prepare for climate change


    Inter-departmental participation by all member local governments effectively meant closing front counters on three Fridays for most of the day so that planning, engineering, operations and building inspection staff could attend the Learning Lunch seminars. “Throughout the series, our theme and our challenge was to ask participants what will they do better or differently to achieve a shared vision for the Cowichan Valley,” stated David Hewetson, Building Inspector with the City of Duncan. “This is why it was so important to get everyone thinking in terms of the What – So What – Now What mind-map.”

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    CREATE GREENER COMMUNITIES, PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: 2007 Vancouver Island Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum set the stage for “Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan”, and was the genesis for capacity-building programs that have rippled through time in changing the way local governments view creeksheds


    “Look back to look forward. What have we learned? How do we pass that understanding (of what we have learned over the past 10 years) onto successive generations of land use, infrastructure and asset management professionals who do their work in the local government setting? How can we help them make informed choices that benefit from past experience? These are just some of the questions that guide the work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia,” stated Kim Stephens. In 2010, the responsibilities of BC’s Green Infrastructure Partnership were rolled into the Partnership for Water Sustainability.

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    Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential on Vancouver Island: “The long-term vision is to transform a decommissioned sawmill site on the Courtenay River into a valuable eco-asset corridor,” stated Project Watershed’s Jennifer Sutherst


    “All the salmon stocks that are returning to spawn in the Tsolum River watershed or the Puntledge River watershed have to migrate past the site,” stated Jennifer Sutherst. “We want to take this community eyesore and turn it into an ecological asset. It’s really important to see that we’re going to be able to turn the site back to a natural functioning condition. Then it’s going to support fish and wildlife and be  a community asset. We’re also going to have the opportunity to build in some flood attenuation capacity.”

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    Vision for Kus-kus-sum estuary restoration in the Comox Valley: “This is a generational moment to create a legacy. Kus-kus-sum shines a light for many estuary communities in the province,” stated Tim Ennis, Executive Director, Comox Valley Land Trust


    “After nearly 75 years, tides may soon flow again over Kus-kus-sum’s shoreline,” wrote Tim Ennis. “This is a generational moment for the Comox Valley to create a legacy based not on conquering nature, but a new era of collaborating to restore our relationships with the land and each other. One of its greatest values is that it’s literally creating common ground where citizens can imagine together with First Nations partners what a healthier, more inclusive and sustainable future looks like.”

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