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Convening for Action in 2019

DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE for “Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Land Development” (April 2-3-4, 2019)


“Parksville 2019 is a milestone event on a multi-year ‘convening for action’ journey,” stated Kim Stephens. “The process is incremental. Each milestone builds on the last and points the way to the next. We do, we learn, we adapt. The ripple effects of the educational approach play out over time. Hence, the importance of ongoing reinforcement and reiteration of core concepts so that everyone understands the context, the goal, and what is necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Inform, educate and inspire those who are in a position to make a difference.”

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JOIN US FOR A WATERSHED MOMENT: Parksville 2019 / Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium / Water Stewardship / Restorative Development / April 2-3-4 (Announcement #1, November 2018)


The rhythms of water are changing in British Columbia. What happens on the land in the creekshed does matter to streams – thus, the time has come to reconnect hydrology and ecology! Yes, communities can decrease their destructive footprint while increasing their restoration footprint. “A decade of effort on Vancouver Island, by partnerships of local governments and community stewards, is demonstrating success on the ground where it matters,” stated John Finnie. “Parksville 2019 will celebrate success stories are that characterized by three attributes: commitment, collaboration and the ‘hard work of hope’.”

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JOIN US FOR A WATERSHED MOMENT AT “PARKSVILLE 2019”: What happens on the land matters – “We can decrease our Destructive Footprint while increasing our Restoration Footprint,” said Storm Cunningham when providing a restorative development context for reconnecting hydrology to ecology in order to re-establish creekshed function in a changing climate


“A long time ago, I had a conversation with the University of British Columbia’s Bill Rees. He is known world-wide for creating the ecological footprint concept,” recalled Storm Cunningham. “The whole idea of reducing our footprint is great, I said to Bill, but what about the flip side? Shouldn’t we also be measuring the restorative effects that our society, and our economy, are having? My point was that, at the same time as we are decreasing our destructive footprint, we can also be increasing our restoration footprint. That is a core message of restorative development.”

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JOIN US FOR A WATERSHED MOMENT AT “PARKSVILLE 2019”: British Columbia’s Professional Governance Act in combination with a vision for ‘restorative land development’ set the stage for 2nd Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate


“One major aspect of the Professional Reliance Review was to examine professional governance issues in the natural resource sector, involving the regulation by professional associations of agrologists, biologists, engineers, geoscientists, foresters and applied science technicians and technologists,” stated Mark Haddock.”My review also examined natural resource regulations and how they incorporate and rely on professionals external to government, who are usually employees or consultants to those carrying out resource development activities or activities that are regulated because they affect the environment.”

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JOIN US FOR A WATERSHED MOMENT AT THE ‘PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM’: Cross-border collaboration expands our horizons and connects us with a larger body of experience!


The program design for the Parksville 2019 Symposium builds on a large body of collaborative work undertaken over decades in British Columbia and Washington State. When creekshed protection policies and practices are based on an understanding of WHY and HOW hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services, then they would be effective in achieving desired outcomes. Parksville 2018 will celebrate local government initiatives that are ‘getting it right’. Follow the leaders!

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REINVENT URBAN DRAINAGE ENGINEERING PRACTICE TO MITIGATE CHANGES IN HYDROLOGY: “To protect watershed health, understand the watershed as a Whole System, and mimic the natural water balance,” stated Dr. Richard Horner, University of Washington (Seattle)


In the mid-1990s, the pioneer work of Dr. Richard Horner and Dr. Chris May resulted in a hydrology-based framework for protecting watershed health. In 1996, they published a seminal paper that synthesized a decade of Puget Sound research. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” stated Dr. Richard Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat, and aquatic life.”

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JOIN US FOR A WATERSHED MOMENT (April 2-3-4, 2019): Parksville 2019 Symposium on restorative development is the outcome of collaboration involving three non-government organizations that share a vision for reconnecting hydrology and ecology – the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT), the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, and the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES)


“Now is the time to get it right. Restoring water balance is crucial for our human and natural habitats. The 2018 Symposium brought us together and gave us energy for change, the 2019 Parksville Symposium will show us real world examples of planning for the water we want and need,” states Paul Chapman. “Some of the challenges to stewardship, the barriers, are upstream, literally and figuratively. Outdated development decisions and practices continue to disrupt the water balance and undermine the health of watersheds. Some of the challenges require a step past the comfortable – political action.”

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CHARTING A NEW COURSE TO A SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE: “The Regional District of Nanaimo’s long-term innovative regional program to protect water resources recognizes watersheds as the best management unit and enables collaborative initiatives, including community participation in water monitoring and water conservation,” wrote Julie Pisani (Innovation Magazine, 2018)


“Science and data collection are key focuses of the program,” reports Julie Pisani. “The DWWP program’s success is based on staying on course with reliable ongoing funding, collaborative fact-finding and project implementation, and recognition-in-action that watersheds don’t conform to jurisdictional boundaries. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to adapt to a changing climate. The program is well positioned, with a model of innovative collaboration, to tackle the issues and chart a new course to a sustainable water future.”

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RESTORE CREEKSHED HYDROLOGY, PREVENT STREAM EROSION, ENSURE FISH SURVIVAL: “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, President of the Mid Vancouver Habitat Enhancement Society


“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. “Through their involvement in MVIHES, community stewardship volunteers are demonstrating what it means to embrace ‘shared responsibility’ and take the initiative to lead by example. A paramount goal is to ‘get it right’ in the stream channel,” stated Peter Law. “The survival of Coho salmon in the Englishman River depends on a healthy Shelly Creek.”

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RECONNECT HYDROLOGY & ECOLOGY TO MOVE TOWARDS RESTORATIVE DEVELOPMENT: An understanding of Daniel Pauly’s “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” is a foundation piece for turning the clock back to replicate desired creekshed conditions


A shifting baseline (also known as sliding baseline) is a type of change to how a system is measured, usually against previous reference points (baselines), which themselves may represent significant changes from an even earlier state of the system. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss,” stated Daniel Pauly. “And the question is, why do people accept this? Well because they don’t know that it was different.”

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