WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – “Communities do have choices. Will they get it right the second time?” asked Kim Stephens at a workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (March 2017)

Note to Reader:

The North Shore municipalities in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia are mountainside communities. They are defined by the wilderness at the top, the water at the bottom, and the creek channels that connect the two. The stewardship history and ethic are embedded in the community fabric. The rainwater lens is integral to the form and character of land development because stream health matters.

In March 2017, the 2nd annual North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers (NSSK) attracted participants from communities throughout the Metro Vancouver region, and on a Saturday afternoon!


So, What Can Streamkeepers Do?

The workshop informed participants about Sustainable Watershed Systems: Primer on Application of Ecosystem-based Understanding in the Georgia Basin, released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in September 2016.

NSSK invited Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director, to make a keynote presentation. This set the stage for a brainstorming session about the role that the stewardship sector could play as a catalyst for doing things differently on the land.

Accelerate implementation of the
Whole-System, Water Balance Approach

“The scope of involvement and influence of the streamkeeper is expanding beyond the creek channel,” stated Kim Stephens. “There is something taking place in British Columbia right now. It is a re-kindling of what took place in the 1990s and early 2000s in terms of the stewardship sector.

Kim Stephens1_April2017_120p“Earlier this week I was in the Comox Valley for the Eco-Asset Symposium, an event organized by the stewardship sector and sponsored by local government. The symposium exceeded anyone’s expectations over there.

“For me, and on the day of the symposium, one of the defining moments was a show of hands by the audience in response to the question – where are you from? The organizers had expected 60 attendees. 160 people showed up. When asked, how many people are from outside the Comox Valley, a sea of hands went up.

“What that showed…is that across this province there is a movement taking place within the stewardship sector. The key is how the stewardship sector partners with local government.

“Looking ahead, and as Peter Law has stated in his role as Vice-President of the Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, an informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system, water balance approach.

“Peter says – wouldn’t it be great if everyone really understood what it means to think and act like a watershed. It is really hard for people – if you go outside this room, you don’t realize that you live in a watershed. But we are all connected to the watershed.”

To Learn More:

Click on the image below and watch the complete YouTube video of Kim Stephens speaking at the workshop.

CAUSE-AND-EFFECT: What Happens on the Land Does Matter!

“The North Shore landscape is being transformed by redevelopment as the older housing stock is replaced. In the District of North Vancouver, analysis of air photo imagery shows that per property increases in hard surfaces can be as much as 66% when small houses are replaced by big houses,” stated Kim Stephens when he set the context for the workshop.

“Communities do have choices,” he emphasized. “Will they capitalize on cumulative beneficial opportunities resulting from the redevelopment cycle to “get it right” the second time, refocus business processes to properly manage watershed systems, and restore watershed and stream health? Or, will redevelopment simply be a “missed opportunity” that instead accelerates cumulative impacts on stream and watershed health over another 50-year cycle?”

To Learn More:

Click on either What Happens on the Land Does Matter! – Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” or the title slide image below to download and view the complete set of slides comprising the storyline delivered by Kim Stephens.

Download a PDF copy of Stormwater Impacts Communities and Creeks – What Can Streamkeepers Do?

NSSK Workshop_keynote_March2017_title slide

NSSK Workshop_keynote_March2017_streamkeepers