Mar 2015

“To protect watershed health, understand the watershed as a Whole System,” says Dr. Richard Horner, University of Washington (Seattle)

In the mid-1990s, the pioneer work of Dr. Richard Horner and Dr. Chris May (University of Washington, Seattle) was transformational. Their findings resulted in a hydrology-based framework for protecting watershed health. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Dr. Richard Horner, now an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat, and aquatic life.” Richard Horner founded the Center for Urban Water Resources Management in 1990.

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“There are parallels between the state of Vermont and the province of British Columbia, and especially the Georgia Basin region on the west coast,” says Stephen Perkins of the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Vermont

“Hurricane Irene in 2011 is the worst natural disaster to occur in the history of Vermont. Our climate is changing and we recognize the need to change our land and water management practices. A desired outcome of the Leahy Environmental Summit is creation of a ‘resiliency network/partnership’. In this regard, Vermont can learn from the success of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia,” stated Stephen Perkins.

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Leading Change in BC: 10 years ago, the late Don Moore showcased a vision for green infrastructure at the "Let It Rain Conference"

Don Moore had a vision for making green infrastructure the ‘new business as usual’. He seized the moment and partnered with Dr. Val Schaefer of Douglas College to organize ‘Let It Rain: A Conference on Managing Rainwater Runoff with Low Impact Development Methods’ in March 2005. “We are working towards building a community on Burke Mountain (in the City of Coquitlam) that has an innovative and leading edge approach to rainwater management. The ‘Let it Rain’ conference is an opportunity for all of us to learn from our peers to help us better complement nature and not replace it,” wrote Don Moore at that time.

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WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: Environmental Protection and the Built Environment – Develop with Care 2014

“When we first conceived of creating a document which would collate all aspects of environmental issues around urban/rural land development, we had no inkling that the document would be recognized world-wide, nor that it would be embraced so thoroughly by so many different disciplines,” reflects Marlene Caskey. “Clearly it was ‘the right information presented in the right place at the right time’! It is great to see it expanded and renewed to better meet the needs of today’s users. Develop with Care 2014 promotes ways to retain and create environmental function and resilience as communities grow.”

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“The benefits and value of ‘Design With Nature’ solutions grow over time,” states Peter Law, Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia

“The Partnership for Water Sustainability is facilitating an inter-regional collaboration initiative within the Georgia Basin. This program for local governments connects the cascading objectives for Watershed Health, Resilient Rainwater Management, and Sustainable Service Delivery,” explains Peter Law. “The initiative is designed to help local government champions integrate natural systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management. A desired outcome is healthy streams and watersheds. So, implement ‘Design With Nature’ standards of practice for development and infrastructure servicing. Protect and restore stream corridors and fish habitat. Provide community-supporting ecosystem goods and services.”

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