Richard Horner

    THE MISSION IS TO DEVELOP NEXT GENERATIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFFS: “The partnership between local governments and the MABRRI research institute at Vancouver Island University is the pilot for upscaling EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Murray Walters, Manager of Water Services, Regional District of Nanaimo

    A theme dominating the news these days is the shortage of skilled, trained or qualified people. The EAP Partnership is part of the solution in the local government setting. Investing in people takes patience, commitment and time. There is no shortcut to build in-house capacity. The partners have committed to investing in youth at Vancouver Island University so that they have the understanding to apply EAP. “We are applying EAP to relatively small scale streams to illustrate its usefulness and effectiveness. The application of EAP will grow from there, I am sure,” stated Murray Walters.

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    LOCAL GOVERNMENTS INVEST IN YOUTH AT VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY: “Partnerships with local governments and others are essential. They allow students to work on collaborative projects. Everyone benefits,” stated Graham Sakaki, Manager, Mount Arrowsmith Regional Research Institute

    “There are lots of partnerships that exist for selfish reasons. But the EAP Partnership is selfless; and from all angles. It is a leap of faith for member local governments. Partnership for Water Sustainability commitment to passing the baton is unwavering. Vancouver Island University is all-in because EAP is an idea that can change the game. And students are excited to contribute to the change. Students will be creating a portfolio of professionals who they know. These are important relationships for them to make. And they are gaining important knowledge too,” stated Graham Sakaki.

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    ROAD MAP FOR STREAM SYSTEM INTEGRITY: The enduring legacy of Richard Horner and Chris May is that they applied systems thinking, investigated whole systems in place, identified four limiting factors, and definitively established their order-of-priority

    In the 1990s, Puget Sound research correlated land use changes with impacts on stream system condition. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables. We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat, and aquatic life. Unless and until land development practices mimic the natural water balance, communities cannot expect to restore the biological communities within streams. Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest,” stated Richard Horner.

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    LAND DEVELOPMENT AND WATERSHED PROTECTION CAN BE COMPATIBLE: “1997, a presentation on the science of land use change by Kim Stephens and Bill Derry helped an inter-ministry working group realize that we needed more than a setback to protect aquatic habitat. The science shows that communities also need to tackle what is happening on the land that drains to streams,” stated Peter Law, Chair of the former Guidebook Steering Committee, on the 20th anniversary of Guidebook publication (June 2022)

    “I found the opportunity to ‘look beyond the stream’ and address poor water quality from drainage runoff in the Waste Management Act. The opportunity resided in the non-point source provision for Liquid Waste Management Plans. The term non-point source pollution was used by my colleagues in the Waste Management Branch to highlight poor quality of runoff from developed and/or developing lands. But this provision was not being applied to the issue of how land is developed. So, I asked my colleagues, why not use this mechanism to connect the dots between changes to the land and impacts on streams,” stated Peter Law.

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