STITCHING TOGETHER AN ALTERED LANDSCAPE: “An ‘Actionable Vision’ translates good intentions into practices on the ground. It is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he foreshadowed the first module of “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” (November 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM on YouTube)
“Water-centric programs underway in the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Capital regions are foundation pieces for stitching together an altered landscape. Are you aware of the scope, scale and interplay of an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island? Do you wonder whether and how these initiatives and programs are making a difference? Join us for a facilitated panel conversation complete with audience interaction segments. An inter-regional team will share and reflect on successes, challenges and lessons learned over the past decade in their regions,” stated Kim Stephens.
NATURAL ASSETS AS ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS & SERVICES: “MNAI and EAP – it is great that we have two initiatives in British Columbia that focus on the role of natural assets in supporting quality of life and property enjoyment,” stated Emanuel Machado, Town of Gibsons CAO and MNAI Chair. He and EAP Chair Tim Pringle are featured in the second module of “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” (November 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM on YouTube)
“Ecological systems play a fundamental role in a local government’s ability to deliver services to its residents and businesses. Yet the ecological services provided by natural assets are not fully measured or appreciated for their role in supporting municipal infrastructure and property enjoyment. Municipal natural asset management provides a roadmap and tools to incorporate ecosystems services into on-going asset management efforts,” stated Emanuel Machado.
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 of “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” (December 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM on YouTube)
“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.
A GUIDE TO GREEN CHOICES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We are providing local government with the information to make better decisions,” stated Dr. Laura Tate when she explained key Green Communities initiatives at the third seminar in the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series (November 2008)
In 2008, the Ministry of Community Development developed A Guide to Green Choices to help local governments continue the extensive work they were already doing in fostering green communities. “We have a series of initiatives within the Ministry that are integrated with other broader provincial initiatives. These are seeking to help us build green communities in our province. We all benefit from having attractive, liveable communities…with a healthy natural environment,” stated Dr. Laura Tate.
NATURE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES: Living Water Smart explained from BC local government perspective – “The more we can align local actions with provincial targets, the greater our chances of success,” said Ron Neufeld, General Manager of Operations, City of Campbell River, at the third seminar in the 2008 Comox Valley Series(2008)
“Living Water Smart creates the opportunity/potential for real dramatic change at a local level. Good policy is knowing where the horizon is, so that you know where you want to get to. Success depends on cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries. We must hold the provincial government accountable too. They have given us the long-term vision; and we are looking to them to be accountable for the support that we now need,” stated Ron Neufeld.
WATER STEWARDSHIP IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: “We have designed the Video Trilogy as a series of watershed moments about implementing actionable visions for ‘Reconnecting Hydrology and Ecology’ in altered urban landscapes,” states Paul Chapman, Chair, Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate Symposia Series (Announcement #1, September 2020)
Watershed Moments, the video trilogy series, is cascading. Our focus is on the whole-system approach, connecting land and water, and restoring water balance in altered landscapes. The series will inform, educate and create understanding. The three videos, each 60 minutes in duration, are designed to be used as educational legacy resources that inspire action. Each is built around a ‘facilitated conversation’ moderated by Richard Boase, District of North Vancouver. These conversations are much more than talking heads in a studio setting. Inter-weaving of outdoor footage creates an engaging narrative.
LIVING WATER SMART IN THE COMOX VALLEY: “The City of Courtenay saw hosting the Learning Lunch Seminar Series as an exciting opportunity to further advance a regional team approach,” stated Kevin Lagan, Director of Operational Services (2008)
“The June 2008 release of Living Water Smart provided a timely provincial frame-of-reference for the Learning Lunch Series. The City collaborated with the CAVI team to explore a bottom-up approach that would inform implementation of Living Water Smart. Our goal was to demonstrate how we can all do business differently and thereby make green choices that create liveable communities and protect stream health,” stated Kevi Lagan.
A STREAM IS A LAND USE: “This is a novel yet intuitively obvious way of characterizing a stream and its riparian corridor because streams in settled areas meet this litmus test for a ‘land use’, and that is: they have a defined area in legislation,” wrote Tim Pringle, EAP Chair, in the report on the application of the Ecological Accounting Process to Shelly Creek on the east coast of Vancouver Island (February 2020)
“The starting point for application of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is recognition that local governments have existing tools in the form of policies and legislation for ‘maintenance and management’ (M&M) of ecological assets within riparian corridors. Until now, what local governments have lacked are a pragmatic methodology for financial valuation, and meaningful metrics that go to the heart of sustainable service delivery. EAP provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of ecological assets,” stated Tim Pringle.
VALUATION OF ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS AND SERVICES: “A common history of land uses on the east coast of Vancouver Island and other regions in BC has been the fragmentation of the riparian network in both rural and urbanizing landscapes,” stated Peter Law, President of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, when reflecting on application of the Ecological Accounting Process to Shelly Creek
“Over decades of disturbance, a landscape’s ecological links/services decline as it’s economic (land use) linkages increase. Thus, a descriptive way to visualize these outcomes is this: riparian ecosystems (networks) have become reduced to riparian zones as shown on the maps of today,” stated Peter Law. “An alternative term, riparian network, could also be used to describe a system composed of a physical stream channel and adjacent riparian (vegetated) corridor. This system provides a critical ecological function in linking terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in a watershed or creekshed.”
DOWNLOAD THE “SERIES AT A GLANCE” to learn about the programs for each event in the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Watershed Stewardship in a Changing Climate
“The over-arching message for the Vancouver Island series is applicable to any region. Simply put, it is to focus on improving where people live through implementation of good strategies. These will provide communities with a path to success. There are two guiding principles. First, reconnect hydrology and ecology – because what happens on the landscape matters to streams! Second, shrink our destructive footprint while growing the restorative footprint – because sustainable is attainable,” stated Kim Stephens.