What Happens on the Land Matters: “North America’s first natural asset policy directs the municipality to consider the role of natural assets within our overall asset management strategy,” says Emanuel Machado, Town of Gibsons Chief Administrative Officer

“What gives life to the policy is the fact that, once the natural asset is within the policy, a budget must be set aside for its ongoing management and maintenance, and town staff must work together to preserve its integrity. The Town's Eco-Asset Strategy recognizes the role of nature as a fundamental component of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to improved financial and operational management plans,” states Emanuel Machado.

“90% of the problems fish experience in small urban streams are caused by land use decisions and activities in the watershed,” says Peter Law, a founding Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“It was through my work as a Provincial Fish Biologist that I became aware first-hand of the issue of water sustainability and watershed health. In the work we did to develop the 2002 Stormater Planning Guidebook, I felt it was important to showcase the science from the University of Washington that linked impacts to fish and fish habitat with changes associated with land development,” recalls Peter Law.

What Happens on the Land Matters: Town of Gibsons “Eco-Asset Strategy” Incorporates Natural Capital in Infrastructure Management

Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital in their community. Their rationale is that natural services have tangible value to the community. "Bringing natural assets into the same asset management system as engineered infrastructure recognizes the quantifiable value they provide to the community and integrates them into the municipal framework for operating budgets, maintenance and regular support," stated Dave Newman.

News from the United States: First continent-wide watershed research study quantifies the connections between land use and climate to the runoff process and flooding at a larger scale than was available before

The first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the United States provides a broad new assessment of runoff, flooding and rainwater management options. “We propose the increased use of green infrastructure and best management practices to enhance the resilience of the watershed system," stated Timothy Randhir.

“In the 1990s, Puget Sound research by Horner and May made it clear that stormwater management was as much or more about land use decisions as engineering solutions,” recalls Bill Derry, watershed champion

“In 1996, Richard Horner and Chris May published a seminal paper that synthesized a decade of Puget Sound research to identify and rank the four factors that degrade urban streams and negatively influence aquatic productivity and fish survival. This science-based ranking provides a framework for Integrated Watershed Management,” reports Bill Derry.