Green Infrastructure Partnership Adds Fisheries Perspective
Corino Salomi is the Head of the Habitat Section for the Lower Fraser Region (West). The Habitat Section is responsible for various monitoring, integrated planning, and permitting activities involving freshwater and marine fish habitats and for implementing components of the Fisheries Act and related legislation such as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Species at Risk Act.
According to Paul Ham, GIP Chair, “The addition of Corino Salomi to the Steering Committee will now enable the Green Infrastructure Partnership to turn our attention to the development of a streamlined environment approvals protocol. This is one of the elements identified in our work plan as an outcome of the 2005 REAC Consultation Workshop.”
Outreach and Continuing Education Program
The 2005 workshop was designed to engage the Regional Engineers Advisory Committee (REAC) of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The consultation outcome was an Outreach and Continuing Education Program (OCEP) which the Green Infrastructure Partnership has been systematically implementing for the past two years.
Concept for Streamlined Environmental Approvals Protocol
“The concept for a streamlined approvals protocol is straightforward,” explains Paul Ham. “To provide certainty and reward those who are implementing green infrastructure, the Green Infrastructure Partnership decided that we would promote linkage between the ‘time is money’ principle and the opportunity to use the savings in interest costs to finance environmental restoration.”
“This concept is in alignment with what DFO wishes to accomplish in the near term,” notes Corino Salomi. “The Green Infrastructure Partnership’s efforts are in-line with several components of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ “Environmental Process Modernization Plan” which includes a streamlined environmental approvals objective and making decisions in a more transparent, predictable and timely manner.”
” The outreach and edducation program of the Green Infrastructure Partnership is breaking down barriers to streamlined approvals by providing a design with nature vision and supporting Green Infrastructure resources that will allow development projects to demonstrate how fish habitat will be protected and perhaps even recovered,” concludes Salomi.
About the Green Infrastructure Partnership
The Green Infrastructure Partnership was formed in 2003 and is a consortium of four organizations. Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, the mission of the Green Infrastructure Partnership is to facilitate implementation of design with nature infrastructure practices and regulation province-wide. If we design with nature, then the water balance can be maintained or even restored over time.
The Green Infrastructure Partnership has a 7-person Steering Committee. In addition to Paul Ham (representing the Master Municipal Construction Documents Association) and Corino Salomi, the other members are:
- Dale Wall and Meggin Messenger – representing the BC Ministry of Community Services
- Raymond Fung – representing the Water Sustainability Committee of the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA)
- Susan Rutherford – representing West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation
- Kim Stephens – representing the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia
The Green Infrastructure Partnership and the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) have developed a close working relationship, in part because the WSC is a member of the Steering Committee. At the 2007 Annual BCWWA Conference, for example,, the two groups collaborated to organize a half-day session on Convening for Action in British Columbia.
Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation
The Green Infrastructure Partnership has several outreach and education initiatives underway:
- GREATER VANCOUVER: The Green Infrastructure Partnership is ollaborating with the Greater Vancouver Regional District, two member municipalities and UniverCity to present Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation In Greater Vancouver: The 2007 Series
- VANCOUVER ISLAND: The Green Infrastructure Partnership is part of the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) Partnership that is organizing Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series.
Beyond the Guidebook
The Green Infrastructure Partnership is also a sponsor of Rainwater Management and Green Infrastructure in British Columbia: Beyond the Guidebook.
Published in 2002, “Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia” was a catalyst for change that has resulted in British Columbia achieving international recognition as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management. “Beyond the Guidebook” is an initiative that builds on this foundation by advancing a runoff-based approach and tool – the ‘Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO' – to help local governments achieve desired urban stream health and environmental protection outcomes at a watershed scale.
Posted July 2007