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Convening for Action in 2020

FLASHBACK TO 2008: “We are turning the tide because development and redevelopment projects are now incorporating features for rainwater runoff capture,” stated the City of Nanaimo’s Dean Mousseau at the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series, a peer-based education initiative under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia


The Inland Kenworth truck and heavy equipment facility in the City of Nanaimo illustrates what can be accomplished through collaboration when a municipality challenges a development proponent to be innovative. “We view this project as the one that has changed the thinking of the consulting community in Nanaimo, particularly on redevelopment projects,” stated Dean Mousseau when he reflected on the changes that had taken place in Nanaimo as an outcome of establishing the Inland Kenworth precedent for ‘designing with nature’.

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: At the finale seminar in the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series, participants explored a regional team approach in the context of a joint study by the Town of Comox and City of Courtenay to determine the source of flooding problems and identify drainage improvements in the inter-municipal Brooklyn Creek


“Flooding was caused by undersized culverts and poor grading. Traditional engineering solutions would have resulted in a linear total loss of habitat, would have significantly impacted on private property, and the costs were well beyond the the financial capacity of the Town. Instead, a course of action involving a suite of solutions was chosen. First and most important was a commitment by all jurisdictions to hold the line,” stated Glenn Westendorp.

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VIDEO 3 / RESTORATION & RESILIENCE / WATERSHED MOMENTS VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM / AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: Titled “International Year of the Salmon”, two versions are available for viewing / one is the stand-alone documentary; the other is the livestream broadcast which includes the Q & A session / Video 3 was livestreamed on December 3, 2020


“A common theme that emerged throughout the Watershed Moments series is the need for better integration of the science, knowledge base and governance processes that are currently applied in a somewhat fragmented fashion to the management of natural assets across various levels of government and societal groups. The other general theme is the development and implementation of new analytical or assessment tools and standards that will move the general desire for greater interdisciplinary integration forward,” stated Dr. Kim Hyatt, Fisheries & Oceans Canada.

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VIDEO 2 / VALUING ECOLOGICAL ASSETS / WATERSHED MOMENTS VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM / AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: Titled “Ecological Assets as Systems and Services”, two versions are available for viewing / one is the stand-alone documentary; the other is the livestream broadcast which includes the Q & A session / Video 2 was livestreamed on November 26, 2020


Emanuel Machado and Tim Pringle agree that the key message to take away from the video of their session is that: “We are looking at a whole system. The natural and built environments are interconnected. Without an ecological system, there are no ecological services.”

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IN MEMORIAM: Gail Adrienne (1944-2020), founding Executive Director, Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) – “Gail was a force FOR nature”


Vancouver Island’s Gail Adrienne had her hands, heart and soul (and considerable will) invested in NALT’s and the Nanaimo community’s stewardship success. Her legacy is felt when hiking Mount Benson or looking up at its seasonal snow-covered heights. Her work is reflected in B.C.’s thriving land trust movement. Her efforts inform the decisions made by the City of Nanaimo’s Environment Committee and are reflected in the City’s Official Community Plan.

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REGISTRATION OPEN FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY SERIES: 2020 Virtual Symposium on “Actionable Visions for Reconnecting Hydrology and Ecology in an Altered Landscape” – a unique and interactive experience delivered via YouTube on November 19 / November 26 / December 3


“The changes wrought by COVID 19 have allowed NALT and the Partnership for Water Sustainability to dare to be bold in integrating technology platforms and co-host what we anticipate will be a compelling virtual symposium. We are integrating Zoom and YouTube to create a viewing experience that captures the passion, knowledge and wisdom of our team members in conversation. The vision for the Video Trilogy Series is that it will take on a life of its own as a legacy resource that informs, educate and creates understanding,” states David Mackenzie. He is the technical director for production of the series.

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VIDEO 1 / STEWARDSHIP COLLABORATION / WATERSHED MOMENTS VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM / AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: Titled “BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration & Actionable Visions”, two versions are available for viewing / one is the stand-alone documentary; the other is the livestream broadcast which includes the Q & A session / Video 1 was livestreamed on November 19, 2020


The first module in Watershed Moments features a dynamic team comprised of five women. They are leading programs that strive to ‘reconnect land and water in altered landscapes’ in four regional districts on the east coast of Vancouver Island. “The panel delivered a sincere and honest discussion that held viewers’ interest and raised awareness on what is happening with respect to water and watershed protection on Vancouver Island. Job well done. Viewers are certain to tune in to the next symposium,” stated John Finnie via email at the conclusion of the broadcast.

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PROGRAM INFORMATION FOR WATERSHED MOMENTS, THE VIDEO TRILOGY SERIES: Re-Imagining the 3rd Annual Vancouver Island Symposium for online delivery to showcase “Actionable Visions for Reconnecting Hydrology and Ecology in an Altered Landscape” on YouTube on November 19 / November 26 / December 3


“In the age of COVID 19, it is necessary to adapt and evolve in response to the new reality imposed by physical distancing. How could we avoid going down the same pathway as others, which would be to subject viewers to a day of staring at their computer screens? And so the plan took shape for a unique and interactive experience via YouTube in combination with Zoom. We are bringing our three teams together in a safe space for a series of in-person, facilitated conversations. Immediately after watching each video on YouTube, our virtual audience will be able to chat in real-time with the presentation team,” stated Kim Stephens.

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INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SALMON IS A POTENTIAL GAME-CHANGER: Multi-year program is not just about fish; it is about humankind creating sustainable landscapes for people and salmon – following the live broadcasts, “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” will be accessible as a legacy educational resource on YouTube (Announcement #5, November 2020)


“How do we encapsulate the human element? It is not just our impact on things. It is much more. It is our behaviour. It is how our behaviour has changed over the decades. We are trying to make things better. The way we are managing really goes well with the designing with nature concept. We are part of nature. We are part of the ecosystem. We have a big effect because there are so many of us. We change the landscape profoundly. But we are still part it,” stated Dr. Peter Tschaplinski.

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RIPARIAN AREAS – WHERE CULTURE JOINS ECOLOGY: “Fighting the negative effects of climate change is hard work. Our creeks are our frontline of climate change mitigation,” stated Paul Chapman, Chair of the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate, in his presentation to Nanaimo City Council (June 2020)


“Protecting our natural systems to preserve natural water balance is one of the most effective things we can do to be a resilient community in the face of climate change. Let’s not make the hard work harder by degrading the systems we are going to need to increasingly rely on. The solution is healthy functioning watersheds, the problem is riparian development coupled with the effects of climate change and the ever-increasing cost and invasiveness of engineered solutions seeking to mimic natural function. When you make a decision about development in a riparian area, you are making a climate change decision,” stated Paul Chapman.

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