Nature’s Revenue Streams: turning ‘green’ into ‘gold’
A highlight of the 2007 Annual Conference of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities was a pre-conference session titled Creating Our Future: Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI). The pre-conference session was organized in three parts and was delivered by a presentation team comprising Tim Pringle (Executive Director, Real Estate Foundation of BC), Kim Stephens (Program Coordinator, Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC), and Patrick Lucey (Nature's Revenue Streams).
Nature's Revenue Streams is a 3-year public-private pilot project, based in Saanich BC, that will show how urban development can be used as an opportunity to improve watershed and stream health, build/restore aquatic habitat and reduce infrastructure costs for developers and the municipality while also addressing rainwater runoff.
Patrick Lucey opened his presentation by stating that, “Nature has spent millions of year to keep water on the land; mankind has spent the last couple of generations figuring out ways to get water off the land as possible.” He then reviewed three case studies to demonstrate that ‘designing with nature' has financial rewards. To download a copy of Patrick's part of the presentation, please click on this link to Designing with Nature: turning “green” into “gold” .
Patrick Lucey told the story of a degraded section of Swan Creek in Saanich to illustrate how one can “look for and find nodules of opportunity in the landscape where the local ecology can be restored without spending taxpayers money”. The project involved construction of a 31-lot subdivision within a floodplain. Previous proposals had failed because they reflected conventional thinking. The community desire for restoration provided the impetus for doing something different and also secured community support for the project as implemented.
“The project approvals from the environmental agencies were secured within 60 days. This compares with a more typical 18 months. Because time is money, the interest saved by the developer paid for the entire cost of corridor restoration”, reported Patrick Lucey.
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island Partnership
The CAVI Partnership includes the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Services, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. For the complete story on the three presentations at the 2007 Annual Conference of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities, which was held at Qualicum Beach, please click here.
Posted May 2007