MODULE A – DAY ONE – PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: The unifying theme for three cascading presentations by Kim Stephens, Paul Chapman and Chris May is “Getting It Right – The Whole-System Approach”

Note to Reader:

Click on PARKSVILLE SYMPOSIUM AGENDA to download a package that elaborates on the presentation topics in each of the four modules that comprise the program on each symposium day. Parksville 2019 is a call to action. Read together, the set of abstracts create a seamless storyline that is designed to inform delegates so that they will know what to expect on April 3-4 when they convene in Parksville. 

MODULE A: “Getting It Right” – The Whole System Approach

Module A comprises three presentations. The first, by Kim Stephens, provides the bridge from the Nanaimo 2018 Symposium. The second, by Paul Chapman, reports out on one of the substantial outcomes of Nanaimo 2018. The third presentation, by Dr. Chris May of Kitsap County in Washington State, is the feature presentation and is the tone-setter for the symposium.

“The title of my presentation is Nanaimo 2018: A Watershed Moment for Collaboration Success Stories. In leading off, I will be looking back in order to look ahead. This means that I will re-cap the highlights from Nanaimo 2018 in order to frame expectations for Parksville 2019,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. “Three key messages from Nanaimo 2018 are: An informed and educated stewardship sector is a catalyst for action. Align efforts to re-establish creekshed function in the mid-Island region. Learn from those who are leading change. These takeaways also apply to Parksville 2019.”

“I will follow Kim with a presentation titled Nanaimo Watershed Health Community of Practice: The Hard Work of Hope,” continues Paul Chapman, Executive Director of the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT). “Galvanized by what they learned during the day at Nanaimo 2018, a diverse group of stewardship groups took their first coordinated action before leaving the symposium. They formed a ‘creekshed coalition’, united by water, to put symposium words into actions. In reporting out on the past year, I will share their strategies, actions, successes and lessons to grow a community of stewardship.”

Map of Washington State highlighting Kitsap County in Puget Sound

The Science Behind the Whole-System, Water Balance Approach 

“We have set aside an hour for Chris May to provide the audience with an understanding as to why hydrology is the engine that powers ecological services,” states Kim Stephens.

“In the 1990s, the ‘salmon crisis’ was the driver for pioneer research by Dr. Chris May and Dr. Richard Horner (University of Washington). Their work was seminal, transformative and far-reaching: it opened the door to the Whole-System, Water Balance approach to rainwater management; and it led to the ‘flow-duration curve’ being the cornerstone of regulatory change in Washington State and California. Their findings are integrated into Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.

“For the past two decades, a leadership position in local government has allowed Chris May to put science into practice. To set the tone for the symposium, he will tell the story of how his research correlated the relationship between land use and stream health; and how Kitsap County is a living laboratory for implementing a hydrology-based approach at multiple scales (to build resilience).”

To Learn More:


To read the consolidated story of all four modules on Day One, click on SUSTAINABLE STREAM RESTORATION: Parksville 2019 Symposium organizing committee releases the Detailed Agenda for Day One (April 3) – “Getting It Right by Applying the Whole-System Approach”

To read an announcement that previews the subject matter that will be covered by Chris May, click on Root Causes of Degraded Urban & Rural Streams: The way we have historically developed land and managed runoff has disconnected hydrology from ecology; institutional inertia to change 20th century drainage engineering practices has delayed restorative action

For additional context related to the presentation by Chris May, also read: REINVENT URBAN DRAINAGE ENGINEERING PRACTICE TO MITIGATE CHANGES IN HYDROLOGY: “To protect watershed health, understand the watershed as a Whole System, and mimic the natural water balance,” stated Dr. Richard Horner, University of Washington (Seattle)