Vancouver Island Water

The island is a demonstration region for the ‘regional team approach’. Communicate. Cooperate. Coordinate. Collaborate. Share resources and learn from each other. CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island-Leadership in Water Sustainability, started with a conversation in 2005. Formally launched in September 2006, and funded by government, the form of the initiative has evolved over the years. The program has demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 PROGRAM AT A GLANCE: Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Development – join us in the City of Parksville on Vancouver Island for a field day on April 2, followed by a 2-day symposium on April 3-4 (REGISTRATION NOW OPEN)

“The rhythms of water are changing in British Columbia. What happens on the land in the creekshed matters to streams – thus, the time has come to reconnect hydrology and ecology! Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in Parksville,” stated John Finnie, Chair, Parksville 2019 Symposium Organizing Committee.

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DOWNLOAD DETAILED AGENDA for “Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Improving Where We Live Through Restorative Land Development” (April 2-3-4, 2019) – learn why a good strategy is the path to success

Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in the City of Parksville for a field day followed by the 2-day symposium. “Delegates will learn how communities can apply science-based understanding to increase their restorative footprint and at the same time decrease their destructive footprint. Delegates will also learn about local government initiatives that are ‘getting it right’ and are moving along pathways that lead to restorative land development,” states Peter Law.

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DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE for “Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Land Development” (April 2-3-4, 2019)

“Parksville 2019 is a milestone event on a multi-year ‘convening for action’ journey,” stated Kim Stephens. “The process is incremental. Each milestone builds on the last and points the way to the next. We do, we learn, we adapt. The ripple effects of the educational approach play out over time. Hence, the importance of ongoing reinforcement and reiteration of core concepts so that everyone understands the context, the goal, and what is necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Inform, educate and inspire those who are in a position to make a difference.”

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Brooklyn Creek in the Comox Valley: It’s surviving, but faces old and new threats from upstream development

“That the stream can sometimes support salmon and trout in an urban environment is just magic,” Robert Deane, president of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society. But it’s more than magic, it’s long hours of hard work by a dedicated group of volunteers. “The town has been a good partner. Our aims and the town’s aims are aligned,” Deane said. He has a vision that could save Brooklyn Creek from dying the “death by a thousand cuts” that has killed other urban streams.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM ON IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: March 1st is the last day for Early Bird Registration / Don’t Delay / Register Today (Announcement #6, February 2019)

The bridge between the two symposium days is a free public lecture by Storm Cunningham, author and global thought leader. He will also provide Closing Reflections on what he heard throughout the 2-day symposium. “Restoration comprises the largest new economic growth cycle since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Development has arrived at the ends of the Earth. Progress has nowhere to turn, except to revisit and restore what we’ve already wrought,” states Storm Cunningham.

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STORYLINE OVERVIEW: Root Causes of Degraded Urban & Rural Streams – attend the Parksville 2019 Symposium and learn why the way we have historically developed land and managed runoff has disconnected hydrology from ecology (Module B on Day One)

“At Kitsap County we have applied this Whole Systems concept to develop our strategy for watershed retrofit and rehabilitation – it is not sufficient to do only a single (or even a few) things – it is necessary to do everything! We know we need to work at multiple scales and multiple levels to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds – that’s our strategy,” states Chris May. “But, so many people in local government are just too busy these days to even contemplate what needs to be done to repair and restore at multiple scales and levels.”

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STORYLINE OVERVIEW: Creating an Actionable Vision for Drinking Water & Watershed Protection in the Regional District of Nanaimo – attend the Parksville 2019 Symposium and learn what is envisioned for the Second Decade (Module B on Day Two)

“Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program implementation has been characterized by numerous accomplishments, as documented in a third party review, completed in September 2018. The focus has generally advanced from an initial emphasis on education and outreach, proceeding to expanded effort in water science and data collection. More recently, as the program has progressed, policy and planning and refining science processes and data management has been given more attention,” stated Julie Pisani.

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SPONGE CITIES: “There’s been a further shift toward a recognition that nature itself cleans and controls rainwater better than any engineered solution,” wrote George Le Masurier in the first in a series published on

“This new emphasis attempts to imitate nature with pervious surfaces, downspout disconnection, rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs and rainwater harvesting. And the prospects have excited many municipal engineers and environmentalist. But the wheels of change turn slowly,” wrote George Le Masurier. “Without legal regulations, not all developers and property owners will embrace the movement.”

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IMPLEMENTING THE WHOLE-SYSTEM, WATER BALANCE APPROACH IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Closing the Data Gap: Water Stewards, the Key to the Future” – provincial government initiative aims to build capacity and mobilize the stewardship sector to collect flow data in creeksheds

“It really is a long-term objective to build stewardship sector capacity to do flow measurement. The people who are involved in this grass-roots program are all volunteers. They are doing the field work because they are passionate about it, and most importantly, they have the time,” stated Neil Goeller. “My vision is to develop relationships and partnerships with stewardship groups, local governments, federal government and First Nations to expand our collection and understanding of data. MVIHES and the Friends of French Creek are the first two groups to participate.”

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RESTORATIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT: Parksville 2019 Symposium organizing committee releases the Detailed Agenda for Day Two (April 4) – “Getting It Right by Making Better Land Use Decisions”

“Yes, we can decrease our destructive footprint while at the same time increasing our restorative footprint! Sustainable is attainable. Make where we live better. Create an ‘actionable vision’. Chart a new course to a sustainable water future. Celebrate Vancouver Island success stories. Follow the leaders! These success stories are inspirational in nature, creekshed in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. ‘Get it right’ and proceed along a restorative development pathway,” states John Finnie.

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