SHELLY CREEK ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: “This is a story about how a local group of streamkeepers has morphed from a focus on salmon and trout habitat restoration, to advocates for ecosystem monitoring of watershed functions… the Whole System Approach,” stated Peter Law, President of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, in a session on ‘Watershed Health and You’ at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (watch on YouTube)

Note to Reader:

The Parksville 2019 Symposium has been captured in its entirety in a comprehensive set of  videos that have been uploaded to the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s YouTube Channel for ease of access by those who are curious and/or interested to learn about what transpired on April 2-3-4 in Parksville, British Columbia.

On the first day of the 2-day Parksville 2019 Symposium, a 5-person team primed the audience with overview-type presentations in a panel session that set the stage for a town-hall interaction with the audience. The Englishman River was selected as the Day One panel theme because it is a great story of long-term collaboration; and with the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) stewardship group playing a catalyst role to facilitate restorative outcomes.

Watershed Health and You

In the 1990s, the Englishman River Recovery Plan was the first implemented by the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund. MVIHES was formed to represent the community and facilitate implementation of stream restoration projects.

The MVIHES mission has since evolved to connect people to their landscape through education, with a focus on Shelly Creek, one of five tributaries. It is the last fish-bearing creek flowing through Parksville. Survival of Coho salmon in the Englishman depends on Shelly!

PETER LAW’S TOPIC: Englishman River / Shelly Creek:  Over time, MVIHES has morphed from “Stewards of the Englishman River Recovery Plan” to “Stewards of the Watershed”

In addition to Peter Law (stream stewardship), the panel comprised Vaughan Figueira (municipal water supply), Gilles Wendling (surface water-groundwater interaction), Domenico Iannidinardo (forestry) and Julie Pisani (water quality).

“In preparing for this session, I asked our panel members to focus their presentations on our local watershed, the Englishman River as the ‘test case’. The panelists were familiar with the watershed and its biophysical attributes, and had the technical expertise to provide insights into how they see the ‘whole system’  approach working, to reconnect hydrology and ecology in the Englishman watershed,” explained Peter Law.

View Peter’s 8-minute presentation:

What Do You Wonder?

The story of Parksville 2019 is told in a magazine-style narrative titled “RE-CAP AND REFLECTIONS”.

The “re-cap and reflections” document was written for two audiences – first and foremost, for those who attended Parksville 2019 and wish to have an accessible and quotable reference document at their fingertips, so that they can share the story with others; and secondarily, for those who have heard about Parksville 2019 and are curious to learn more about the ‘story behind the story’, so that they may understand why this event represents a watershed moment for so many who were there.

About Parksville 2019

Close to 200 delegates attended this 3-day event. Parksville 2019 comprised a field day followed by a 2-day symposium. The program objectives for Parksville 2019 helped to inform and establish expectations. It was a matter of providing context and then being clear and succinct about the desired takeaways.

To provide relevance for streamkeepers, the theme for Day One was Sustainable Stream Restoration. To capture the attention of those in local government, the theme for Day Two was Restorative Land Development.

To Learn More:

Download a PDF copy of the Re-Cap and Reflections document at:

Download a PDF copy of the presentation by Peter Law titled: Englishman River / Shelly Creek:  Over time, MVIHES has morphed from “Stewards of the Englishman River Recovery Plan” to “Stewards of the Watershed”

To learn more about the presentations by the other panelists, and watch them on YouTube, visit: