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Shelly Creek Water Balance & Sediment Reduction Plan

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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“MVIHES has established a provincial precedent with the Shelly Creek Water Balance & Sediment Reduction Plan; and this will have reverberations as the 'Shelly Creek story' becomes well-known," wrote Kim Stephens in the preface to "Shelly Creek is Parksville's last fish-bearing stream!" (October 2017)


“Community stewardship volunteers are demonstrating what it means to embrace ‘shared responsibility’ and take the initiative to lead by example,” stated Kim Stephens. “The Shelly Creek experience foreshadows that an informed stream stewardship sector may prove to be a difference-maker that instigates and accelerates implementation of the ‘whole-system, water balance’ approach in the Georgia Basin region and beyond.”

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Released in July 2017, the "Shelly Creek Water Balance & Erosion Reduction Plan" has three desired outcomes: Restore Watershed Hydrology, Prevent Stream Erosion, Ensure Salmon Survival


“Issue #1 is widespread lack of understanding of the relationship between flow-duration and stream (watershed) health,” stated Jim Dumont. The flow of water from cloud to stream is comprised of three water balance pathways. Standard drainage engineering practice only considers surface runoff. The other two pathways (interflow and groundwater) by which rainfall reaches streams are ignored.

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