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Convening for Action in 2020

COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP & CITIZEN SCIENCE IN ACTION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA’S CAPITAL REGION: “Partnerships have been essential to all we have accomplished through the Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative.  Do not be afraid of partnering with others to achieve your goals,” stated Heather Wright, Research Coordinator, World Fisheries Trust


The catalyst for grass-roots action in Portage Inlet was the continuing decline in cutthroat and coho numbers in the Colquitz River and Craigflower Creek. Both systems flow into Portage Inlet and Gorge Waterway in the heart of Victoria. “Partnerships have been essential to all we have accomplished through PICI and will continue to be as we progress into the future,” stated Heather Wright. “Each partnership we have has brought something to the table, be it money, expertise or that one connection we were missing to get the job done. The moral of this article is: don’t be afraid of partnering with others to achieve your goals!”

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PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: “Campbell River’s Rising Seas strategy is our roadmap for coping with a climate change impact. Throughout the planning process, youth outreach was a central pillar,” states Chris Osbourne, Acting Manager of Long Range Planning


“The youth of Campbell River cannot be held responsible for any of this. Yet it is they who will live longest with the ever-worsening effects, and their unborn successor generations yet more so. For this reason we thought any discussion on sea level rise probably ought to include these youths. Backed by a Council policy that states that at least 10% of public input on City projects should be from youth we set out to do just that. The City’s Youth Action Committee was involved at several points,” stated Chris Osborne.

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THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS GIVEN US TIME TO PAUSE, REFLECT AND SEIZE THE MOMENT: “The French word ‘prevoyant’ has no English equivalent. It is the power of a prepared mind to act upon chance events in a world of deep uncertainty,” wrote George Hanson, President & CEO, Vancouver Island Economic Alliance


“Being ‘stuck in the past’ has always been a liability. Now, as the pace of everything accelerates, it is logical to expect disruption. It is prudent to be nimble and responsive. Pulitzer Prize winning historian, David Hackett Fischer wrote that prevoyant is also ‘learning to make sound judgements on the basis of imperfect knowledge; taking a broad view in projects of large purpose; and thinking for the long run’. It has been said that ‘providence favours a prepared mind’. In business, in life, in community, it has always been beneficial to look ahead. ” stated George Hanson.

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FINANCIAL VALUATION OF SHELLY CREEK ECOLOGICAL SERVICES IN THE CITY OF PARKSVILLE AND REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NANAIMO: “We can now see how our ongoing investments, as stream stewards, not only can improve the worth of a creekshed’s biophysical functions, but also improve riparian land values as well,” stated Peter Law, President, Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES)


“The members of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society have devoted over 10 years of time and energy towards restoring the health of Shelly Creek for salmon and trout. Our volunteers have contributed over $90,000 to the ‘maintenance’ of the creek and its’ fish populations. That is like spending $10,000 per year to support monitoring of water quality, flow gauges, riparian planting, downstream smolt trapping and of course, community engagement! We do it for free, because we can see this creek needs help,” stated Peter Law.

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COURTENAY’S ASSET MANAGEMENT BYLAW DECISION: “Once the City committed to ‘uprating’ our Policy to a Bylaw, it was critical to carefully draft the content so it would rest upon a solid legal foundation,” stated David Love, the City’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives


“We realized that our AM Policy was inadequate because it described practices and processes aligned with Operations rather than an exercise of Council’s statutory authority. A policy is a general statement of objectives to guide decisions on a particular matter. A policy may be readily altered by Resolution or at Council’s discretion, or even disregarded in decision-making with little or no legal or political consequence. Therefore, it was critical to carefully draft the content so it would stay within Council’s authority, and be consistent with existing legislation and our own bylaws and policies,” explained David Love.

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COVID 19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE: Comox Valley 2020 postponed until October 20-21-22


“The directive from British Columbia’s Chief Medical Health Officer is to cancel events where more than 50 people would be attending. The anticipated registration for Comox Valley 2020 (CV20202) was trending to about 200. In light of that directive, the CV2020) has been postponed until October. We are pleased to announce that the organizing team has secured venue dates at the Filberg Centre,” stated Paul Chapman, Chair of the Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Series, on March 16, 2020.

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WATER, PLACE & RECONCILIATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Our vision is to transform an eco-liability into an eco-asset in the heart of the K’ómoks Estuary,” states Caila Holbrook, Project Watershed’s Manager of Fundraising, Outreach and Mapping (Announcement #7, March 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)


“Pre-1950 aerial photographs confirm that Kus-kus-sum was indeed a forested streamside area in the K’ómoks Estuary with side-channels connecting it to the adjacent Hollyhock Marsh,” stated Caila Holbrook. ”The restoration process will include removing built infrastructure from the site, removing fill, re-grading the topography of the area, planting native species and removing the steel wall. Nature will come back; it is already trying to – as trees and salt marsh plants are poking through the 1 foot deep rebar-reinforced concrete.”

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WATER, PLACE & RECONCILIATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Implementing Actionable Visions – Are you curious to learn what it means to collaborate to ‘stitch together altered landscapes’, and thus improve where we live? (Announcement #6, March 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)


“I am fond of the saying: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. This comes from the hiking world but is applicable to many aspects of life and to the unique challenges of adaptation in the face of climate instability,” stated Paul Chapman. “The truth of this adage is apparent when we come together to learn from each other’s water stewardship efforts, glean new ideas to take home from our gatherings and modify and apply in our home watersheds. Comox Valley 2020 promises new opportunities to build our community of stewardship.”

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A ‘ONCE IN A GENERATION’ WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: “The International Year of the Salmon program has the potential to be a game-changer. It is not just about the fish; it is about humankind creating sustainable landscapes for people and salmon,” say Kim Hyatt and Peter Tschaplinski, the federal-provincial science duo who will inform, educate and engage participants in the finale module at the Comox Valley 2020 Symposium (Announcement #5, February 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)


“From an International Year of the Salmon perspective, large efforts of a very large mass of people around the rims of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and likely Arctic oceans will need to ‘come together’ for any real change to occur. From this perspective the requirement in an increasingly interconnected world is closer to ‘humankind’ than to a few of us in the local community. That said, it’s the sum of us in local communities that will move this closer to a humankind undertaking,” stated Kim Hyatt.

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COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM ON WATER STEWARDSHIP: Series of articles preview the modules that comprise the program for a symposium on “Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration”


Comox Valley 2020 is the third in a series on water stewardship in a changing climate. The Symposia Series is a building blocks process. Each builds on the last and points the way to the next. “Designed to paint a picture of the 2-day Comox Valley 2020 Symposium, a series of articles published by the Partnership for Water Sustainability during the period November 2019 through April 2020 delves into the details of the cascading program. The series is designed to inform and educate the reader about what to expect in individual program modules,” stated Kim Stephens.

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