FLASHBACK TO 2008: Ministry of Environment hosted a workshop on “Shared Stewardship of Our Water Resources: Now and in the Future”

Case Studies & Innovative Ideas Around Shared Stewardship

In February 2008, the Vancouver Island Region of the Ministry of Environment hosted its second annual ‘water workshop’ in Nanaimo. Organized by a Ministry team led by John Deniseger, the workshop content was structured in four parts corresponding to these themes:

  • Planning and Protection
  • Monitoring and Assessment
  • Green Approaches to Development
  • Ecosystem Protection

“In 2007, the Ministry’s first ‘water workshop’ brought together over 120 individuals representing all levels of government and local stewardship groups for a day of talks and discussion,” stated John Deniseger. “In 2008, the focus shifted to ongoing, completed and proposed projects, studies and ideas around shared stewardship of the region’s water surface and groundwater resources. The workshop was aimed at planners at all levels of government, as well as stewardship groups involved in watershed planning.”

Under the theme of Green Approaches to Development, Eric Bonham and Kim Stephens provided a progress report on CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.

To Learn More:

To view a copy of the agenda, click on Shared Stewardship of our Water Resources: Now and in the Future.

John Deniseger’s Legacy – Sound Science & Great Leadership

Five years later, in 2013, John Deniseger received a Premier’s Award for his 31 years in the civil service with the Ministry of Environment, mainly for creating an unprecedented level of collaboration among the government, academia, the private sector, First Nations and community groups.

“John left a lasting legacy for our children and our grandchildren. He dedicated his working life to making sure the province is in better shape now than it was when he started. There is no bigger legacy than that,” said Premier Christy Clark at the awards dinner.

Deniseger was responsible for the water and air quality of the west coast region for the better part of his career. Based in Nanaimo, he pioneered an eco-region approach to watershed management that engaged local communities and saved money and helped establish a shared stewardship approach to several watershed and water bodies, including the Sooke Basin.

He helped develop standards for water quality and monitoring in partnership with universities, contributed to research that prevented trophy fisheries in inactive lakes, worked to solve the mystery of large algae blooms and studied the effects of urbanization on water resources.

John’s openness, passion and commitment inspired those he worked with to be creative and innovative. He enabled groups to embrace change, and he understood the importance of employing sound science to address our challenges. In facing the challenge of balancing economic growth and protection of our environment, John changed the workplace culture, business model and relationships, while earning the respect of British Columbians.