Category:

Protecting Quality and Ecology

WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO: “Keep working to make your world better. You are engaged with pride, and with joy, in the hard work of hope. And what you are doing offers hope to all,” stated Bob Sandford in his closing synthesis at the Nanaimo Water Stewardship Symposium (April 2018)


“Streamkeepers and municipalities both have a great deal of unexercised power and capacity to collaborate in the interests of the common good. You have only started; and in so doing, you can move outside the limitations of formal, established governance structures,” stated Bob Sandford. “It is the way to move out from under that, to build new governance pathways. And pathways to real power that can allow you to make change possible in a much shorter period of time. You have proven that, if you change your attitudes, changes in practice follow almost immediately. So, I ask and urge you to carry on. Don’t just be satisfied with slowing and reversing past damage.”

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Kus-kus-sum Restoration of a Decommissioned Sawmill Site on the Courtenay River: A community prepares to unpave a parking lot and put up a paradise


“The long-term vision for transforming a sawmill site into a valuable habitat corridor could also transform the city’s most troublesome flood liabilities into an eco-asset corridor for the whole community,” wrote Vanessa Scott. “The Comox Valley is approaching a watershed moment in land restoration, and all of British Columbia can learn some important lessons here. Led by wild salmon and local passion, Kus-kus-sum highlights how public engagement and storytelling is a key driver underlying restoration.”

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: “Learn from the past, gain an understanding of tools to help guide new development and new processes for a future for streams, salmon and stewards,” stated Zo Ann Morten in her co-keynote call to action at the Nanaimo Water Stewardship Symposium


“Each of us has helped to make change and pave the way for more people to join in, and for more people to be asked for their input and to have something worth saying,” stated Zo Ann Morten. “For those of us who started out ‘to save the world’, well it has been a tough slog, and we aren’t there as yet. But we can take pride in being in a better state then if we had all stayed home and ate bonbons on the couch. Ah, the hard work of hope! We do have the pieces to do better to embrace a water-first approach.

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RESTORATION OF WATERSHED FUNCTION: “Draw a distinction between maintenance and management. Understand that maintenance means preventing degradation, whereas management is about enhancement,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) Initiative (April 2018)


“Looking through the ‘worth lens’ has been transformational. We concluded that less emphasis should be placed on monetization of ecological services. It is more realistic to focus on investment of resources – that is, time and money – as well as aspirations of motivated stakeholders,” stated Tim Pringle. “For this reason, the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) examines the investment of resources already made by stakeholders, as well as their aspirations concerning the maintenance and management of ecological services.”

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KANAKA CREEK WATERSHED STEWARDSHIP CENTRE: Conserving nature is key to managing rainwater runoff and protecting Kanaka Creek watershed – an outdoor classroom, including ‘Roof to Creek’ water features and interpretive signage, is a powerful teaching environment


In the works for years, the Centre is intended as an immersive and highly engaging place for visitors with a strong connection to the natural environment. “As we celebrate 50 years of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks this year, we continue to enhance our expansive portfolio of parks, park reserves, greenways and ecological conservancy areas,” said Metro Vancouver Chair Greg Moore. “This addition will be a valuable hub for future generations to enjoy, connect with, and learn about nature.”

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World Water Day 2018: “Streamkeepers is advocating for the introduction of municipal incentives for permeable – or ‘green’ – surfaces,” wrote Glen Parker, North Shore Streamkeepers, in an opinion piece about rainwater management and “changing the way we do business” in Metro Vancouver’s North Shore region


“While it’s customary here to lament the sheer amount of precipitation our city gets, the fact is that rain, and the waterways through which it flows, play an incredibly important role in our region’s beautiful and diverse ecosystem – an ecosystem that requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure the sustainability of the surrounding environment and wildlife,” wrote Glen Parker. “Perhaps because rain is thought of as a force of rejuvenation and renewal, we often neglect to think about how stormwater can actually endanger our ecosystems and fish populations.”

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The Watershed Project (San Francisco): “We develop programs that make residents feel like they can be part of the solution,” stated Juliana Gonzalez, Executive Director


When Juliana Gonzalez explains to her neighbors what a watershed is, she’ll often crumple up a ball of paper and flatten it out with a little ridge running across the middle. Then she’ll dip the tip of her finger in a glass of water and let a single drop trickle down the page. “That ridge is called the water divide,” she says, “which means when it rains the water will go down one side or another. Wherever that water runs, collects and drains out is a watershed.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2016: “Our goal was to produce a publication that profiled the health of key streams and connected residents with the waterways in their neighbourhood,” stated Julie Pisani, Regional District of Nanaimo


We all learn from stories and the most compelling ones are based on the experiences of those who are leading in their communities. Local government champions on the east coast of Vancouver Island are sharing and learning from each other through inter-regional collaboration. “In the RDN, we have seven basin-scale ‘water region’ areas for planning and communication purposes,” reported Julie Pisani. “We profiled streams in each of those water regions, where stewardship groups have been collecting water quality data.”

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CASE FOR WHOLE-SYSTEM, WATER BALANCE APPROACH ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: “The survival of Coho salmon in the Englishman River depends on a healthy Shelly Creek,” states Peter Law, Vice-President, Mid Vancouver Island Enhancement Society


“Community stewardship volunteers are demonstrating what it means to embrace ‘shared responsibility’ and take the initiative to lead by example. MVIHES secured funding from multiple agencies and developed the Shelly Creek Water Balance & Sediment Reduction Plan,” stated Peter Law. “The challenge for MVIHES is to facilitate the community’s journey from awareness to action, expressed as follows: Once a community as a whole acknowledges that there is a problem, and also understands why there is a problem, what will the community do about it?”

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GENESIS OF BLUE ECOLOGY: “Water – A First Nation’s Spiritual and Ecological Perspective”, a paper by Michael Blackstock, professional forester and scholar of Gitxsan descent, published in 2001


At the age of 86, Mildred Michell (N’whal’Eenak, or Rising Star, was born on May 13, 1914 and passed away on October 2, 2000) agreed to be interviewed on the importance of water to our lives. She was a highly respected and knowledgeable Elder in her Nation and by other Nations in the southern Interior. She was very concerned that the water was drying up, about pollution, and about the changes in the weather’s annual cycle.

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