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Blue Ecology / Michael Blackstock

“We can start back down the river of time – this time together – with a full understanding of the importance of embracing a water-first approach,” stated Bob Sandford, water champion & author, at FLOWnGROW workshop (November 2016)


Bob Sandford has a natural ability to ‘cut to the essence’ of issues. “This conference underscored the great benefit of focusing on the interweaving of western science and traditional teaching and local knowledge,” wrote Bob Sandford. “What we essentially talked about is reconciliation: going back to the headwaters of where we got our relationships with water and with one another wrong so that we can start back down the river of time.”

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“The challenge of climate change now demands a level of collaboration and commitment heretofore unseen,” stated Eric Bonham at the conclusion of the FLOWnGROW workshop on water sustainability in BC (Nov 2016)


“Michael’s message truly resonated with the audience, namely the interweaving of Western Science and First Nations Cultural Knowledge. The essence of Michael’s vision is embrace a water first approach. He describes water as a living entity – the sacred centre from which all other activities radiate. Western science and blue ecology are truly partners. It is time the marriage was made official. I believe that this was one of the most important take-away messages of the workshop,” stated Eric Bonham.

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Moving Towards Watershed & Water Sustainability in British Columbia: “Linking rainfall, the landscape, streamflow, groundwater and Sustainable Service Delivery has been a building blocks process,” stated Kim Stephens in his presentation to municipal engineers at the Annual APEGBC Conference (Oct 2016)


“The excellent presentation by Kim Stephens has provided me with inspiration,” commented Dr. Tom Gleeson. He teaches a course on Sustainable Water Resources for engineers at the University of Victoria. “I was really impacted by how clearly Kim has thought through organizing principles for implementing a water balance approach. I have borrowed from his slides and his thinking to develop lecture material for my course.” In his presentation, Kim Stephens referenced the work of Michael Blackstock on the need for a fundamental re-thinking of our relationship with water.

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: “Blue Ecology and Climate Change” – an introduction to Michael Blackstock


“Michael Blackstock proposes that we re-examine climate change  from a ‘water first’ angle because the rhythm of water’s transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states on our planet is undergoing a significant change, and at a significant rate. He sees as essential the acknowledgement of water’s central functional and spiritual roles in our world, and urges us to apply both respect and science-based understanding,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Program on Water Governance Workshop Series: Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management in Canada


“My presentation was organized in three parts. First, I introduced the across-Canada audience to our BC adaptation of the ‘design with nature’ philosophy. Then I talked about Convening for Action on Vancouver Island to provide an example of new forms of governance. The third and final part dealt with the linkage of infrastructure to climate change and infrastructure. To capture audience attention and set a tone, I opened with a reference to Blue ecology and climate change, an article by Michael Blackstock,” stated Kim Stephens.

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