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Vancouver Island Water

The island is a demonstration region for the ‘regional team approach’. Communicate. Cooperate. Coordinate. Collaborate. Share resources and learn from each other. CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island-Leadership in Water Sustainability, started with a conversation in 2005. Formally launched in September 2006, and funded by government, the form of the initiative has evolved over the years. The program has demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration.

Latest Posts

REGISTER HERE for Nanaimo Water Symposium on Watershed Stewardship in a Changing Environment (April 11-12, 2018)


The role of the stewardship sector in the Nanaimo region has been evolving over the past two decades. Beginning in 1997, Gail Adrienne led Project 2000, which jump-started stewardship activities and projects in the Nanaimo region. Looking ahead, Gail sees the current resurgence of community interest in caring for waterways as key to making a difference in restoring naturally functioning watersheds over time. “On April 11-12, 2018, join us in Nanaimo for a symposium on watershed stewardship, the water balance and restorative development,” she states.

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“CAVI” is moving forward under a new name – The Partnership on Vancouver Island: Leadership in Water Sustainability


“The VI2065 initiative envisions a Vancouver Island based on long-term sustainability and water resiliency models that involve innovative partnerships. The results guide us towards effective land and water management practices. Water is an entrance point for the discussion on climate change, for the connection on this complex issue is clearly understood in light of the increase in floods and droughts,” states Eric Bonham.

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NANAIMO WATER SYMPOSIUM: Public Lecture by Bob Sandford on “Moving Towards Restorative Development – The Hard Work of Hope” (April 11, 2018 at the Coast Bastion Hotel)


“If we are to achieve any meaningful level of sustainability, all development has to be not only sustainable, but restorative. We can no longer simply aim to slow or stop damage to the Earth system; we have to restore declining Earth system function,” wrote Bob Sandford. “Canada, and British Columbia in particular, are in a good position to make sustainability possible. Though our society is powered by petroleum and lubricated by oil, it floats on water.”

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CONTEXT FOR NANAIMO WATER SYMPOSIUM: “The Hard Work of Hope – Climate Change in the Age of Trump” – a book by Bob Sanford and Jon O’Riordan


“Though contemporary politics and the state of the environment seem grim in this ‘post-truth world’, there will always be hope. But that hope will require hard work by everyone if our planet is to remain a desirable place to live in a warming world,” wrote Jon O’Riordan (left) and Bob Sandford in their latest co-authored manifesto. “A top-down approach, by governments alone, cannot achieve the transition outlined in this book.”

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DOWNLOAD PROGRAM HERE for “Convening for Action in Nanaimo” at a 2-day water stewardship flagship event (April 11-12, 2018): Field Trip, Public Lecture & Symposium


“Communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration – have you thought about the power of the 4Cs? When all four are in play, good things happen,” states Derek Richmond. “Are you also aware of the beneficial outcomes that are flowing from collaboration between local government and the stewardship sector in the Nanaimo region? A groundswell of heightened awareness is translating into involvement and empowerment to make a difference. Join us on April 11-12 to learn more.”

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Restore Watershed Hydrology, Prevent Stream Erosion, Ensure Salmon Survival: Released in October 2017, the Shelly Creek Water Balance & Sediment Reduction Plan has established a provincial precedent for implementation of “water balance approach” to restoration of watershed health


“The challenge is to move from stop-gap remediation of in-stream problems to long-term restoration of a properly functioning watershed,” stated Peter Law, Vice-President of the Mid Vancouver Habitat Enhancement Society. “Existing standards of practice have resulted in negative impacts. Continuing to use those standards will result in further environmental degradation of the watershed and loss of stream productivity. Building support for action starts with community engagement.”

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ATTEND & BE INSPIRED: Nanaimo Water Symposium – Collaboration Success Stories on Vancouver Island (April 11-12)


“Changes in the global climate are accelerating and disrupting the water cycle. Local consequences, ofttimes negative, are magnified. To make the right decisions, we need to understand how and where the water rhythms are changing. We must adjust our land use and infrastructure practices before its too late,” states John Finnie, Chair of the Nanaimo Symposium Organizing Committee. “Attend the symposium on April 11-12, 2018. Listen. Hear. Be heard. And make a difference.”

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SAVE THE DATE TO BE INSPIRED – The Hard Work of Hope – Collaboration Success Stories on Vancouver Island (April 11-12, 2018)


Join us in Nanaimo for a field trip, public lecture and symposium on watershed stewardship, the water balance and restorative development. “What we are essentially talking about is reconciliation: going back to the headwaters of where we got our relationships with water and with one another wrong so that we can start back down the river of time – this time together – with a full understanding of the importance of embracing a water-first approach to planning human interventions in the environment,” states Bob Sandford.

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Debra Oakman: Her support helped to lay the foundation for successfully launching the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative in 2012


Debra Oakman retired as Chief Administrative Officer of the Comox Valley Regional District in mid-2017. In October 2017, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC honoured her with a Lifetime Membership. The early and strong support of Debra Oakman for demonstrating the benefits of the ‘regional team approach’ in the Comox Valley was a key to the success of the Partnership’s CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative.

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Englishman River Watershed Recovery Plan: Connecting people to their landscape, the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society is a voice for the community


“MVIHES experience demonstrates that positive outcomes are a result of strong community support for protection of small streams and their tributaries,” stated the late Faye Smith (1937-2017). The “Shelly Creek Water Balance & Erosion Reduction Plan” is dedicated to her memory. Faye Smith was the backbone of stream stewardship in the Oceanside area for 30 years.

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“By sharing the story of Shelly Creek, we want readers to recognize that erosion is a common issue impacting salmon and trout habitats in small streams, draining into the Salish Sea,” stated Peter Law, Vice-President of the Mid Vancouver Habitat Enhancement Society


“Over time, MVIHES has morphed into Stewards of the Watershed. Beginning in 2011, the MVIHES action plan has concentrated on Shelly Creek. One of five Englishman River tributaries, it is the last fish-bearing creek flowing through the City of Parksville,” stated Peter Law. “It will require a bottom-up approach to inform, educate and inspire City and Regional District governments to implement 21st century policies for rainwater and development.”

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