NEW PUBLICATION: Restore Watershed Hydrology, Prevent Stream Erosion, Ensure Salmon Survival on Vancouver Island (Shelly Creek in the City of Parksville)
The Shelly Creek experience foreshadows that an informed stream stewardship sector may prove to be a difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the ‘whole-system, water balance’ approach in British Columbia. “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,” states Peter Law.
“When the previous General Manager of Engineering retired in 2011, our Chief Administrative Officer listened when I presented the case for doing both jobs – Engineering and Community Development,” stated Ramin Seifi. “The Township needed more integration to respond to the demands on infrastructure and the risks to the environment resulting from rapid population growth. Achieving integration depended on the Township having a better structure. Replacement of curb-and-gutter with a ‘blue link’ rain garden is a perfect illustration of integration in action.”
BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP (Nov 28) – your opportunity to interact with CBC’s Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks
“Climate change is no longer in the future. It is here. It is real. If we are to adapt, and be quick about it, we really must move beyond ‘shock and yawn’,” says Bob McDonald – author, science journalist, and the national science commentator for CBC Television and CBC News Network. “ A recent interview with a UN diplomat got me thinking. The real issue is public engagement, he said. We are at a moment of truth. Unless the climate message offers hope, he explained, individuals will not be motivated to take action.”
Making Nature Count in the Town of Gibsons – celebrating and showcasing 5 years of leading by example
The Town of Gibsons is the Living Laboratory for the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative. It is also a demonstration application for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management. “Investing in nature has proven to be rewarding in terms of reduced operational and capital expenditures, increased resiliency to climate change and improved environmental management of the Town’s infrastructure,” stated Emanuel Machado.
“Local governments in British Columbia already face a $200 billion challenge for renewal of aging hard infrastructure – such as watermains, sewers and roads. And now, as communities face the increasing impacts of climate change, there is another unfunded liability – the cost to restore watershed hydrology and water resilience in the built environment. British Columbia has arrived at a fork in the road,” states Kim Stephens.
REGISTER EARLY – Blue Ecology Workshop – a ‘must attend’ event on Nov 28 in Richmond, BC, because…….
Blue Ecology is an ecological philosophy developed by Michael Blackstock, professional forester and scholar. Blue Ecology looks at the water cycle differently to interweave First Nations and Western thought. “Interweaving is about creating a new form of knowledge through collaboration by interweaving useful threads from each way of knowing into a more robust way. Interweaving is not integration, just as equality is not about assimilation and creativity is not empirical,” stated Michael Blackstock.
"Sponge Cities" – a catchy way to describe the goal in restoring the capacity of the urban landscape to absorb water and release it naturally
Four years ago, President Xi Jinping offered a new way to think about flooding and drought. At China’s Central Government Conference on Urbanization in 2013, he announced that cities should act like sponges. His proclamation came with substantial funding to experiment with ways cities can absorb precipitation.
SAVE THE DATE (Nov 28) TO BE INSPIRED – CBC’s Bob McDonald (Quirks & Quarks) headlines power lineup for “Blue Ecology Workshop”
In this workshop, the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s Ted van der Gulik along with two well-known personalities – the CBC’s Bob McDonald (host, Quirks & Quarks) and Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly – will team with Michael Blackstock to share their unique and complementary perspectives on a water-first approach. The Fraser River is a centrepiece for the workshop program. “The program is visionary yet pragmatic. Bob McDonald, Fin Donnelly and Michael Blackstock are a powerful trio. The Blue Ecology theme, blending First Nations cultural knowledge and Western Science challenges us to be more inclusive when addressing watershed systems,” observes Eric Bonham, elder statesman with the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
Inspired by a ground-breaking campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Seattle/Puget Sound region of Washington State, a multi-partner initiative is now underway in British Columbia to build support for a similar rain garden vision in the Metro Vancouver region. “On the North Shore, we can learn from the experience in the Puget Sound region and from the green infrastructure initiatives that are taking place at the municipal level,” states Dr. Joanna Ashworth. “12,000 Rain Gardens is an effective blend of regionally coordinated but locally driven efforts. The campaign has played a major role in taking the rain garden concept from obscure to commonplace, and from outlier to mainstream, in terms of rainwater management strategies.”
NEW REPORT: Insurance industry highlights need to mandate private-side flood risk reduction measures
Titled ‘Assessing local mandatory measures to reduce flood risk and inflow & infiltration in existing homes’, the report focuses on enforcement-based approaches adopted by North American municipalities, including the City of Victoria and Metro Vancouver in British Columbia. “Basement flooding is one of the most substantial drivers of natural disaster losses in Canada,” states Dan Sandink. “Our report explores legal tools that could be used to require private property owners in existing developments to better manage excessive rainwater and protect against flood risk. We examine the legal implications of applying these tools in the Canadian municipal context.”