Riparian Areas Protection Regulation

    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We are trying to envision a program where we acknowledge that we are part of fish habitat. We are part of the water cycle. This allows us to really look at our place on the water pollution file,” stated Dr. Peter Ross of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation

    “Right now, I find myself trying to simplify the pollution file because the world has become so complicated. We have a staggering half million chemicals on the high-volume production marketplace. When I as a scientist who has been practicing for decades try to understand what the consequences are for fish or fish habitat or whales or people, I realize that I have my work cut out for me. Instead of trying to capture the science and understanding of half a million chemicals, I am now saying: water as a focal point is very simple,” stated Peter Ross.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “In the integrating matrix, I set out to capture three ‘states of play’ as row headings: naturally functioning, degraded through lack of awareness, and going forward with science-based understanding,’ stated the late Erik Karlsen (1945-2020) when he presented a path forward to tackle the Riparian Deficit

    Circa 2000, legendary civil servant Erik Karlsen had the lead role in developing the language that operationalized British Columbia’s Streamside Protection Regulation. In 2015, his last contribution before his health declined and he passed was creation of a matrix to explain how to integrate two foundational concepts that provide a path forward for designing with nature restore a desired watershed and stream condition.. These are Daniel Pauly’s “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” (1995) and Richard Horner and Chris May’s “Road Map for Protecting Stream System Integrity” (1996).

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Peter Law has put his time and energy into Shelly Creek, as do many other stream stewards in their watersheds around BC, such that Shelly Creek has become a “living laboratory” for the local Parksville community to enjoy.

    Peter Law’s experience informs his science-based approach to developing solutions. “The folks responsible for land development need to understand the risks and consequences associated with loss of riparian integrity. So protect it! Do what Parksville did with the enhanced riparian area for Shelly Creek Park. Look beyond the stream channel. Understand hydrology and how water reaches a stream. Municipalities simply must make a concerted effort to maintain the seasonal water balance if neighbourhoods are to sustain these wild populations of fish that are in their back yards,” stated Peter Law.

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