CONVENING FOR ACTION IN THE COMOX VALLEY: Watershed Resilience Event Explores Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration (October 21-22-23, 2020)

Note to Reader:

In 2020, the COVID 19 pandemic changed everything and created a new reality for everyone on Planet Earth. Until there is a vaccine, mass gatherings are not allowed in British Columbia, by order of the Provincial Health Officer. Thus, events such as the Third Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate must be delivered online rather than in-person. Adapting to this new reality necessitated decoupling of the original 2-day program for Comox Valley 2020, the third in the series.

Pre-pandemic, the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership (CVCP) would have delivered the Day One program. The Symposia Series founding partners – namely, the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) and the Partnership for Water Sustainability – would have delivered the Day Two program.

Decoupling means the two programs proceeded as independent online events. Details of the reconstituted webinar program organized by the CVCP team are presented below.

Watershed Resilience Event Explores Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration

The Comox Valley Land Trust, Cumberland Community Forest Society and Connected by Water are presenting a free 3-part event highlighting exciting projects and initiatives that are reconnecting ecology and hydrology in the built and natural environments of the Comox Valley.

This virtual seminar will take place October 21-23 and welcome attendees from across sectors for a unique opportunity to learn about the power of collaboration to mobilize and respond effectively to the impacts of climate change on the local landscape.

To Registration:

Comox Lake

Wednesday October 21st at 7 pm – FREE Online Public Event

Stitching Together Altered Landscapes: Conservation, Community and Resilience

Over the past 150 years, the Comox Valley landscape has been transformed by logging, coal mining, agriculture, road building, industry, and development. These altered landscapes are where the local impacts of climate change – flooding, erosion, and loss of biodiversity – first become evident. But these altered landscapes also hold the greatest potential for building resiliency. Kus-Kus-Sum, The Courtenay Estuary, Morrison Headwaters, Perseverance Watershed, Comox Lake – these places are at the heart of our local climate story.

Join archeologist Jesse Morin, Comox Valley Land Trust ED Tim Ennis, Cumberland Community Forest Society ED Meaghan Cursons, and Project Watershed staff biologist Jennifer Sutherst for a visual exploration of local land use history and current day conservation in action from mountain top to ocean floor.

“Together, in partnership with local government, indigenous leadership, industry, and community, we are stitching together altered landscapes of the Comox Valley,” stated Meaghan Cursons.

Thursday October 22 9-10:20 am:

Water, Place and Reconciliation

What is the starting place for our work in water sustainability, landscape restoration, and facing the impacts of a changing climate? It starts with an understanding of the culture, land, water, and stories of the places where we do our work.

“Join us for this welcome to the territory of the K’ómoks First Nation and an introduction to the exciting projects underway that demonstrate our shared commitments,” urged Tim Ennis.

Thursday October 22, 10:30-12 noon:

Regional Collaboration toward Natural Asset Management

The Comox Valley has never witnessed the scale of cross sector and cross jurisdictional work toward watershed sustainability than we have in the past 5 years. At the forefront of these collaborations are the Watershed Advisory Group, the Comox Lake Municipal Natural Assets Initiatives and recent land protection actions in the Comox Lake Watershed. This session will explore the complexities and opportunities of this regional collaboration at work,” stated Tim Ennis.

Friday October 23rd, 9-10:20 am:

Engaging Community in Climate Strategies – Projects and Tactics

“Local government leadership is making it clear that meaningful community engagement and climate change awareness are critical to all levels of community planning. What tactics make a real impact? How do we deepen interest and engagement to achieve success? From official community plan processes to sea rise response strategies – community engagement in climate adaptation is at the top of the agenda,” stated Meaghan Cursons.

Friday October 23rd, 10:30-12:

Connected by Water- Building a Legacy of Watershed Protection

Connected by Water is a program of the Comox Valley Regional District to build capacity, connection, and community in support of watershed protection. This project connects schools, parks, sporting events, campgrounds and the public to stories and actions that help support the health of our watershed. Learn more about the approaches, messages, and successes of this project and how it can be applied to our collective efforts to support a climate resilient watershed in the Comox Valley.