“International Year of the Salmon” – a potential game-changer?

Note to Reader:

COVID has changed and challenged how we do outreach and peer-based education. Now both must be done virtually. In this edition of Waterbucket eNews, we further preview how the Partnership and our collaborators have moved well beyond a Zoom webinar to create Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series:

  • On November 19: The first module features a dynamic team comprised of five women. They are leading programs that strive to ‘reconnect land and water in altered landscapes’ in four regional districts.
  • On November 26: Tim Pringle and Emanuel Machado illustrate how to take into account the social, ecological and financial values of ecological assets when developing metrics and calculating the financial value of ecological systems such as streams and adjoining riparian setbacks.
  • On December 3: A federal-provincial team of applied scientists elaborate on why the International Year of the Salmon, a multi-year program, represents a ‘once in a generation’ moment to ‘reconnect fish, people and the landscape’ through shared federal-provincial authority.
The partnership vision is that delivering the series via YouTube will provide enduring value as a legacy educational resource. Upon conclusion of the series, viewers will have the option to re-watch the videos again and again. It is the experience that will keep on giving! 


Nov 19 / Nov 26 / Dec 3 (from 10:00AM to 11:30AM)




“I am a member of a team representing the stream stewardship sector and three levels of government. In re-imagining the 2020 Symposium as the Video Trilogy Series, our vision is that the audience experience ‘in the moment’ will be better than having a front-row seat at a live event,” states Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“The series is aimed at a continuum of audiences—ranging all the way from ‘boots in the creek’ streamkeepers to elected representatives who decide what work will be funded. The series content is cascading, and has something for everyone who wishes to understand what role they can play, to reconnect land and water in altered landscapes.”

“Each video is a building block that contributes to an understanding of what needs to be done to create Actionable Visions that shrink the destructive footprint and grow the restorative footprint of communities.”

For the first time in decades, the stars are in alignment. The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) is an international program to which our federal and provincial governments have committed both money and time. Thus, lightning could strike twice and launch a second era of science-based action.”

“With IYS as a guiding vision, communities could build on what some have known since the 1980s and, in so doing, offset the neglect of past decades. The common denominator between now and then is a ‘salmon crisis’, only this time accentuated by a climate emergency.”

“IYS is the opportunity to follow through with an effective response this time, and truly reconnect hydrology and ecology. Success depends on application of science-based understanding (what we know) harnessed to political will (to make it happen).”

“But the driver for reconnecting people to the landscape, and implementing actionable visions, requires bottom-up actions to create and sustain political will. A relevant and highly successful precedent for the ‘top-down & bottom-up approach’ is the Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP) which mobilized communities in the 1990s. The success of USHP was, in large part, due to the collaboration of the federal, provincial and local governments, working in partnership with the stewardship sector.”

“The takeaway message for the series is one of hope.”

Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series:
In the third module, to be broadcast on December 3, viewers will learn that looking through the salmon lens reminds us of the critical requirement for reconnection between federal and provincial government agencies to collaborate in undertaking a challenging mission for which they share authority

The ‘salmon crisis’ of the 1990s galvanized federal-provincial action, cross-border collaboration, and pioneer research. Now, the International Year of the Salmon program is a potential game-changer because it is the springboard to inspire a new generation of researchers, managers and conservationists to take the baton and collaborate to reconnect fish, people and the landscape.

Dr. Kim Hyatt and Dr. Peter Tschaplinski, two senior research scientists, headline the finale module in the Video Trilogy Series. They share their federal and provincial perspectives, respectively. They embody a wealth of fisheries-related knowledge. The experience of this engaging duo dates back to the 1970s. Thus, they do know of what they speak!

Inspire Communities to Mobilize to Do Better

“From an IYS perspective, large efforts of a very large mass of people around the rims of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and likely Arctic oceans will need to ‘come together’ for any real change to occur,” says Dr. Kim Hyatt.

“From this perspective, the requirement in an increasingly interconnected world is closer to ‘humankind’ than to a few of us in the local community. That said, it’s the sum of us in local communities that will move this closer to a humankind undertaking. At every scale, there are challenges and solutions that are going to need to be embraced. We have the thinking figured out. We can take lessons learned and bring them back to our regional and local context, and inspire people to do better.”

“How do we encapsulate the human element? It is not just our impact on things. It is much more. It is our behaviour. It is how our behaviour has changed over the decades. We are trying to make things better,” adds Dr. Peter Tschaplinski. “The way we are managing really goes well with the designing with nature concept. We are part of nature. We are part of the ecosystem. We have a big effect because there are so many of us. We change the landscape profoundly. But we are still part it.”

Format for Facilitated Conversations

On December 3, the finale in the series is structured in two parts. First, the duo of Kim Hyatt and Peter Tschaplinski provide a synthesis of key information and connect dots in four theme areas. Then Nick Leone and Neil Goeller join in for a 4-way conversation facilitated by North Vancouver District’s Richard Boase.

The four theme areas are Human Impact, Ecosystem Function, Vegetation Structure and Climate Change.

“In part one, Kim and Peter take turns to engage the audience through a compelling narrative that comes from their experience, not from a clinical analysis. They are concept heavy in distilling key messages for each of the four theme areas,” states Richard Boase.

“They illustrate key messages with their own experiences as landscape and salmon sustainability planners, executors and managers. Drawing from 30-plus years of experience each, they also illustrate key problems and key solutions. Their messages allow for hope.”

“Four rounds of engaging conversation follow in part two. Each round is framed by a lead-off question that builds on the key messages introduced in the first part.

The Audience will be Up Close and Personal with the Team

All that will be missing from the experience will be the conversations that happen spontaneously during networking breaks, when delegates share their immediate reactions to what they just heard. Also, the video is much more than talking heads. Interweaving of outdoor imagery adds a compelling visual dimension that draws the viewer into the conversation. At the conclusion of the video, viewers will be able to interact with team members in a chat session.

The Video Trilogy Series is a Shared Enterprise

The desire by all to excel is captured by the camera. The result is a set of legacy educational resources that will inform collaboration among the stewardship and local government sectors for some time to come.

From a behind-the-scenes perspective, series production has benefitted from collaboration and a team-building process that transcends what would otherwise have happened at a live event. Everyone involved has thought long and hard about what the Video Trilogy Series is designed to accomplish, and the part that each person plays within a team framework.

Speaker Interviews are Powerful for Connecting with an Audience

An audience has a lot more insight and curiosity once they learn the back stories – who are the players, what they have been doing, and why. Each video opens with individual interviews of team members in a nature-based setting. Such personalized vignettes would never be included in a live event.

The vignettes prime viewers so that they have an appreciation for the motivations of individuals, and how commitment flows from passion. Thus primed, the audience is ready to listen, absorb and reflect on the sharing of experience in a conversational format.

An Audience Interaction Segment follows the Video Broadcast

From a use-of-technology perspective, it will be simple and seamless for the audience. There is a single YouTube link for the video as well as the chat session. Behind the scenes, a live Zoom feed will bring the team onto the YouTube platform. In that way, they can respond to audience questions and interact with each other.

Afterwards, the audience has the option to re-watch the video again and again. It is the experience that keeps on giving!


15 metres x15 metres is the optimum size space, and also the minimum size, for a room that is required to house up to five cameras and up to 14 people, of whom six are seated in a semi-circle for a facilitated conversation. Five cameras are necessary because of the 2 metre spacing of speakers.

The videos are much more than talking heads. Interweaving of outdoor imagery adds a compelling visual dimension that draws the viewer into the conversation.