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Vancouver Island

    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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    “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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    Rainwater Management in the Comox Valley Regional District Electoral Areas: Current Practice and Future Options


    “Recognizing the importance of the issue, the Regional Board identified a rainwater strategy as a NOW priority in its 2012 Strategic Plan. An action item was a legal and technical review of current practices and future options…recommendations were approved by the Board in March 2013, and implementation of first steps is proceeding,” states Kevin Lorette.

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    City of Parksville supports collaborative effort to develop "Primer on Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management for Lands Adjacent to Englishman River"


    “The City supports the joint research and information-sharing project related to the science of ‘living water smart’ on the Englishman River. However, since staff resources are very limited to participate with this initiative, a consensus was reached to link the project’s objectives with the new Official Community Plan,” wrote Blaine Russell.

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    Preparing for Climate's Change: Securing BC's Future


    “The vision for the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative is to enhance resilience to a changing climate and the anticipated, related impacts on water and aquatic ecosystems. Project activities have led to recommendations and actions for improved policies, practices and plans, as well as tools,” states Jim Vanderwaal.

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