The Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative in BC’s Capital Region: an example of how partnerships lead to success
The catalyst for grass-roots action in Portage Inlet was the continuing decline in cutthroat and coho numbers in the Colquitz River and Craigflower Creek. Both systems flow into Portage Inlet and Gorge Waterway in the heart of Victoria. “Partnerships have been essential to all we have accomplished through PICI and will continue to be as we progress into the future,” stated Heather Wright. “Each partnership we have has brought something to the table, be it money, expertise or that one connection we were missing to get the job done. The moral of this article is: don’t be afraid of partnering with others to achieve your goals!”
“A platform re-build for the BC Agriculture Water Calculator was the opportunity to spin-off the BC Landscape Water Calculator as a stand-alone tool for use by local governments and their residents. At the same time, the City of Kelowna was implementing a landscape bylaw that established an allowable water budget at the individual property scale. Therefore, it was a natural fit for the Partnership and City to collaborate in the development of the BC Landscape Water Calculator,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING: Do you wonder how streams influence neighbourhoods and property values? To find out, download the latest report by the Partnership!
EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, addresses this question: How do communities decide how much to invest in the natural commons? The EAP methodology and metrics enable a local government to determine the WORTH of the natural commons, with ‘worth’ being the foundation for an annual budget for maintenance and maintenance of ecological assets. Application of the EAP methodology can help to inform an investment strategy for protection and/or restoration of ecological-hydrological function,” stated Tim Pringle.
“COVID-19 may be the wake-up call that we have needed to realize how deep the water runs. In times of crisis, although difficult, beauty can emerge. An opportunity exists in the space between what was and what will be. What will this be for us in BC? Well that depends on every one of us. What is calling you to action? What can we do together? What obstacles will you/we overcome with your/our constant presence; moving over, around or wearing down? One drop among many. Life giving. We can do this,” stated Kathy Bishop.
“Looking back, I see now that the rain garden program evolved gradually, in the manner of any good garden — from early conversations in 1999, through the first rain garden in 2006, to the 29 school and community rain gardens in 2019. And yet, despite successes, this enterprise has not been a completely comfortable fit for City officials and staff, especially engineers,” Deborah Jones stated in a moment of reflection. The passage of time provides perspective, and opens eyes to the distance travelled as compared to the distance still to go to reach the destination.
CREATING OUR FUTURE: “Beyond Champions – Building a Culture of Water Stewardship” – Paul Chapman, Chair, Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Symposia Series
“The Symposia programs are built around success stories – inspirational in nature, local in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. In short, these precedents can be replicated and/or adapted in other communities. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we look beyond short-term responses and figure out how we will learn from these success stories; and build a sustaining culture of stewardship so that communities do adapt to the new normal caused by COVID 19,” stated Paul Chapman.
PREPARE FOR TOMORROW: A proposed Watershed Security Fund would create an enduring legacy for British Columbia
“50 years ago, BC’s political leaders took bold action to secure our farmland by creating the British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve. This act of vision and courage created a legacy of food security that still benefits British Columbians today. But securing our farmland was only half the job: just like farmland is the source of our food security, healthy watersheds are key to our water security. It’s time to take bold action once again to secure and sustain our critical fresh water sources forever,” stated Tim Morris.
Over the course of his career in government, Erik Karlsen bridged the worlds of municipal affairs and environmental stewardship. For a generation of elected representatives, his was a familiar face in the local government setting. He was indeed one of a kind, and his ability to envision the big picture, yet identify practical steps going forward, was what made him stand out from the crowd and earned him much respect from his colleagues.
“The strategy is our roadmap for coping with a climate change impact that will profoundly affect the City’s residents, businesses, asset management plan, and capital works projects. Sea Level Rise is a relatively slow-moving phenomenon and will go largely unnoticed most of the time. However, during a storm event, 1 metre of global sea level rise becomes a serious danger for those few critical hours or minutes around high tide,” stated Chris Osborne.
CARPE DIEM: Is the pandemic a ‘reachable, teachable moment’ for actually achieving sustainability in British Columbia?
“Being ‘stuck in the past’ has always been a liability. Now, as the pace of everything accelerates, it is logical to expect disruption. It is prudent to be nimble and responsive. There is a French word ‘prevoyant’ that has no English equivalent. It is ‘the power of a prepared mind to act upon chance events in a world of deep uncertainty’. Pulitzer Prize winning historian, David Hackett Fischer wrote that prevoyant is also ‘learning to make sound judgements on the basis of imperfect knowledge; taking a broad view in projects of large purpose; and thinking for the long run’,” stated George Hanson.