Cowichan Valley

    Watershed Moments Team Award honours legacy of Rob Lawrance, former Environmental Planner with the City of Nanaimo

    Rob Lawrance grew up in the Cowichan Valley where he began his stewardship journey. In his time with the City of Nanaimo, he grew the responsibilities of Environmental Planner to include community collaboration. He played a key role in almost every major waterway stewardship initiative in Nanaimo and connected community stewardship passion with municipal capacity. In 2021, Rob retired from the City and moved to Blaine, Washington. Tragically, he passed away in May 2022 while participating in the cyclocross leg of the Bellingham Ski to Sea relay race.

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    ADAPTING TO FLOODS AND DROUGHTS IN THE COWICHAN REGION: “Being part of the inter-regional collaborative network helps us reinforce our long-term strategies. These are necessary to respond to climate threats which are projected to be long-term in duration and changing over the long-term,” stated Keith Lawrence of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

    “Early in my career, working with agencies across Western Canada gave me an appreciation for the urgent need for collaboration between organizations. When I joined CVRD in mid-2013, I had a strong sense that this would be a place where I could work in a more collaborative setting.. There was a willingness to foster a collaborative framework between partnering organizations so that together we can respond to climate threats to our water resources. As local government, one of the roles that we can play is to support that stewardship culture,” stated Keith Lawrence.

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    DRINKING WATER & WATERSHED PROTECTION IN THE COWICHAN VALLEY REGIONAL DISTRICT / ADAPT TO A CHANGING CLIMATE – Partnership for Water Sustainability releases 1st in the “Stories of Inter-Regional Collaboration Series” in January 2023

    “In the Cowichan Valley we have a dominance of electoral areas with proudly distinct communities, capable and engaged municipal partners, and a leadership that is characterized by true independence and internal reliance. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of watershed planning across our region.  There is no one model. Rather, we have a range of applications that are sensitive to the environment in which it was formulated and to the core drivers and champions that brought it forward. We truly have a rich basis in which to begin the process of stepping back, learning and reflecting on our next steps,” stated Kate Miller.

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    Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “We are poised for action in the Cowichan Valley. We went to the public in October 2018 because the time was right for a referendum on water. Our communities have been with us all the way. The referendum passed,” stated Kate Miller, Manager of Environmental Services (April 2019)

    “Watershed planning is a way of integrating land use planning for communities with other impacts in watersheds to ensure that all the resources are managed effectively. In October 2018, Cowichan electors passed a referendum (by a decisive 58% in favour) to implement the new regional service. This is the culmination of more than a decade of collaboration to build capacity in the stewardship sector and enhance decision-making,” explained Kate Miller.

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