A Tale of Two Urbanizing Watersheds in the City of Courtenay

2014 Courtenay State of the Environment Report_page1

“Working together, we can make a difference. Imagine what we could accomplish if each one of us helped to restore the watershed in which we live,” says Nancy Hofer, Environmental Planner, City of Courtenay

State of the Environment and other similar ‘sustainability audits’ are increasingly popular tools for communicating sustainability goals and performance to the public. In 2013, the City of Courtenay issued its first State of the Environment Report with targets for air quality, water consumption, transportation, land use, waste, and energy. The format is brochure style with engaging images and a succinct storyline. Courtenay is one of four local governments featured by the Province of British Columbia on its Environmental Monitoring BC website.

Watershed Ecosystems Benefit Us All

“The City of Courtenay State of the Environment annual report series is our way of sharing information on the ways that the City works with the environment on a daily basis; as well, it draws attention to the role of citizens in contributing to the health and quality of life of our community,” states Nancy Hofer, Environmental Planner with the City of Courtenay on Vancouver Island.

Nancy_Hofer_120p“Healthy natural heritage systems are the foundation for a sustainable community. This year we have taken a look at the ecological systems that connect our neighbourhoods and communities – our backyard streams.”

“Our watershed ecosystems benefit us all. Often the services they provide are overlooked and undervalued. Through innovative planning and wise stewardship, we can sustainably manage our local streams for the benefit of present and future generations. The 2014 State of the Environment Report is a tale of two urbanizing watersheds.”

“We have looked at how the land cover is changing in the riparian areas adjacent to the creeks as a measure of stream health, and learn what this means. This has been done in collaboration with stewardship groups. We have identified challenges and opportunities. We have highlighted the role that each resident can play in restoring their piece of the riparian area.”

“The individual actions of citizens may seem small, yet the achievement of sustainability goals can only be attained through collective effort. Working together, we can make a difference. Imagine what we could accomplish if each one of us helped to restore the watershed in which we live.”

“Sustainability audits can be particularly valuable at communicating what individuals can do to help achieve community-wide sustainability-related goals, and for measuring progress towards the achievement of those goals,” concludes Nancy Hofer.

To Learn More:

The Province describes “State of Environment Reporting” as the presentation of unbiased information relating to the environment. Environmental reporting takes scientific information and makes it accessible to non-technical audiences. Click on http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/soe/about/

Click on 2014 State of the Environment Report to read “A Tale of Two Urbanizing Watersheds”.


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