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Tim Pringle

    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “The IREI is a unique mechanism for growing a network based on shared aspirations and delivering results across organizational boundaries. It differs in every way from building an organization in any conventional sense,” stated Derek Richmond, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC


    The pressing need for timely, affordable, and effective solutions is the driver for the IREI. A goal of collaboration is to build local government capacity, capability, and competence to deliver on expectations. The IREI program brings the right people together in constructive ways with good information, such that they create authentic visions and strategies. “The Ambassadors Program complements the IREI Program and is emerging as a foundation piece for inter-generational collaboration. This was the breakthrough to articulate our need for succession planning and sustainability of the network,” stated Derek Richmond.

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    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “By accounting for and integrating the services that nature provides, communities can achieve the goal of Sustainable Service Delivery for watershed systems,” stated Liam Edwards, (a former) Executive Director with BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs, when Beyond the Guidebook 2015 was released


    ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’ makes the link between local government services, the infrastructure that supports the delivery of those services, and watershed health. “The BC Framework points the way to integration of natural systems and climate change thinking into asset management. Resilient cities will be the ones that can absorb water and manage the water cycle as a closed loop,” stated Liam Edwards. The BC Framework provides context for the Ecological Accounting Process for operationalizing natural asset management.

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    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “History is important. It is important to understand how we got to where we are. And we need to celebrate that work,” stated Brian Carruthers, Chief Administrative Officer (2014-2022), Cowichan Valley Regional District


    “I had a real incentive to come to the Cowichan Valley Regional District in 2014 because water was the primary focus. The region was in the midst of a watershed governance study. It was looking at how the CVRD could take a more active role in watershed governance. The Board Chair and I did tours of First Nations communities and met with their chiefs and councils around the intent of this initiative and what would their interest be. We realized that this was bigger than we could take on at that time. Instead, we turned our attention to the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection (DWWP) model for a regional service,” stated Brian Carruthers.

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    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “One can have implementation without integration, but implementation will likely be ineffective without integration,” stated Tim Pringle, Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, when he explained the process for designing with nature in a systems context


    “The purpose of the IREI is to learn and apply what ‘designing with nature’ looks like in practice. Integration means a holistic approach to use and conservation of land and water. The process involves drilling down from the vision and goals of a regional plan to explore the ‘how-to’ details of implementation and integration. It encompasses physical infrastructure, the built environment, and the ecosystems within which we work and recreate. And it includes all practitioners whose profession, work, volunteer role or responsibility as a landowner affects land and water sustainability.”

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    FLASHBACK TO 2013: “Collaboration among Vancouver Island local governments, and with Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities, has grown steadily since 2007. The Inter-Regional Educational Initiative provides a framework for consistent application of tools and understanding on both sides of the Georgia Basin. Everyone benefits from sharing information and experiences,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability


    “Collaboration is the pathway to a consistent approach to implementation and integration of water sustainability and green infrastructure policies and practices within and between regions. Yet there is no formal mechanism to enable or facilitate inter-regional collaboration. The Partnership fills this gap. At the heart of the IREI is ‘Beyond the Guidebook’, an ongoing initiative to provide local governments with the tools and understanding necessary to integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream. The IREI will help all local governments bridge the ‘implementation and integration’ gap,” stated Kim Stephens

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    BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2022 / FINANCIAL CASE FOR STREAMS: “In the process of completing the Ecological Accounting Process for the Millstone River, everyone became versed in the common language of natural assets and can now bring that forward in the ongoing collaborative work ahead,” stated Julie Pisani, Program Coordinator for the Nanaimo region’s Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program


    “The Millstone River EAP project brought together municipal and regional interests, community stewardship sector perspectives and academic research capabilities. Not only were we able to assign a proxy value to the riparian corridor land area, but we also connected this to an understanding of the integrity of its current condition — and compared a riparian deficit to an infrastructure deficit / liability. This is a powerful communication tool to elevate the importance of local policies and investment to protect and restore riparian areas for the benefit of our communities,” stated Julie Pisani.

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    FINANCIAL CASE FOR BOWKER CREEK DAYLIGHTING: “Asset management and ecological frameworks are merging closer than ever before,” stated Lesley Hatch, Senior Manager of Water Resources with the District of Saanich, when the Partnership of Water Sustainability released its report on the sixth in the series of EAP demonstration application projects undertaken as part of a multi-year program of applied research (October 2021)


    EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, has been applied to the 100-Year Action Plan for daylighting Bowker Creek. “This is good news as Saanich continues to catalogue and valuate storm water natural assets with the intent of establishing resources to steward both hard, linear infrastructure and natural systems alike. Modern asset methodologies can sync well with other frameworks, such as EAP, which provides additional tools and metrics to improve maintenance and management across the District, and in collaboration with our regional partners on such initiatives as the Bowker Creek Initiative,” stated Lesley Hatch.

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    CITY OF VICTORIA RECOMMITS TO BOWKER CREEK DAYLIGHTING: “Despite having covered it up, urbanized it with all the hard surfaces in the watershed, Bowker Creek is still here. Instead of just a ditch to move stormwater or carry away pollution out into the ocean, we’re looking at it as an environmental asset,” stated Soren Henrich, Chair of the Friends of Bowker Creek, when he commented on Council’s game-changing decision to kick-off the second decade of Bowker Blueprint implementation


    A significant portion of restoration efforts revolve around unearthing some parts of the creek currently underground. “Daylighting will not only help return salmon and trout back to the creek, but will breathe life into the vision of a biodiversity corridor, accessible to people across the municipalities. It would give people in the city a place where they can see and come into contact with flowing water. Imagine bike paths close enough to the creek so people could connect to Oak Bay, eventually connecting Oak Bay to the rest of the regional trail system,” stated Soren Henrich.

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    FINANCIAL CASE FOR MILLSTONE RIVER ECOLOGICAL SERVICES: “The report on application of EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, will help the City look at how to improve and enhance the value of the Millstone greenway and help the City prioritize future restoration of this important natural feature that runs through the heart of our beautiful City,” stated Rob Lawrance, Environmental Planner with the City of Nanaimo


    EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, focuses on drainage and the condition and/or integrity of stream corridors. “There are many threats that are degrading our environment, such as invasive species, but there are also opportunities to enhance our environment, such as tree planting to rebuild the health and diversity of our watercourse riparian areas. The EAP process helps underscore the value of these investments into our streams and rivers and the value Nature contributes back for our community to benefit from,” stated Rob Lawrance.

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    DRINKING WATER & WATERSHED PROTECTION IN THE NANAIMO REGION: “The Millstone River and EAP (Ecological Accounting Process) project are a vignette for the bigger mandate of the DWWP. Both demonstrate project level partnerships with stewardship groups; as well as partnerships across local government jurisdictions,” stated Julie Pisani, DWWP Program Coordinator, when the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s case study report on the Millstone River EAP Project was approved by the RDN Board (April 2021)


    “The EAP methodology reflects the understanding that landowners adjacent to the stream corridor and setback zone and the broader community share responsibility for and benefit from the condition of the stream as well as the financial and ecological value of the land it occupies. The report suggests a general framework for local governments to consider in using the lens of ecological accounting within Corporate Asset Management Plans,” stated Julie Pisani.

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