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vancouver island

    THE RESTORATION ECONOMY: It takes a process to create an actionable vision for community revitalization + creekshed restoration, says Storm Cunningham


    “The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia recently showed itself to be on the leading edge of watershed restoration by focusing a significant portion of their recent symposium on regional revitalization. I was asked to deliver most of that content to an audience that largely comprised Streamkeepers and other technical experts who do the on-the-ground work of restoring watersheds,” stated Storm Cunningham. Afterwards, he reflected on the connection between their work and community revitalization, and how making that connection could benefit their work.

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    Convening for Action in British Columbia: Do You Wonder About the Outcomes Flowing from the Parksville 2019 Symposium?


    “The goal of making the world ‘less worse’ does not go far enough. Rather, we have it within our power to undo previous damage and make the world better. The process of restoring our planet and revitalizing our communities is becoming a rigorous discipline, with the proper education and tools,” stated Storm Cunningham. “Restoration comprises the largest new economic growth cycle since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Development has arrived at the ends of the Earth. Progress has nowhere to turn, except to revisit and restore what we’ve already wrought.”

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    IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: Bowker Creek and Brooklyn Creek are “beacons of hope” on Vancouver Island / Learn more at Parksville 2019 (Announcement #8, March 2019)


    “The Town of Comox is being proactive in changing development practices. This is demonstrated by the training course that the Town held for drainage and land development engineers. Because the course comprised six sessions over a 3-month period, participation required a major commitment of their time,” stated Marvin Kamenz. “The Town hosted this training because the planning and design process is becoming increasingly more complex, and with greater expectations than we have ever applied to drainage infrastructure.”

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    IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: “Closing the Data Gap: Water Stewards, the Key to the Future” / Learn more at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (Announcement #7, February 2019)


    “Understanding the complex interactions of whole-system, water balance processes that lead to water availability in and on the ground, and all the values that depend on it, is critical to effective water resource allocation. My vision is to develop relationships and partnerships with stewardship groups, local governments, federal government and First Nations to expand our collection and understanding of data,” states Neil Goeller, Regional Hydrologist, Province of British Columbia.

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    IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: Building Nanaimo Region’s “Actionable Vision” for Water & Watersheds / Learn More at Parksville 2019 / April 2-3-4 (Announcement #5, February 2019)


    “At Parksville 2019, the story of how a strong foundation of public outreach and science was built over the first decade will lead into a lively discussion on opportunities and emphasis for the next 10 years of water sustainability initiatives. It is the successful cultivation of awareness and data that will inform policy and planning in order to make better land and water decisions and tackle regional water issues in the next decade. The RDN is positioned to tackle regional water issues and help to create a vision to chart a new course to a sustainable water future,” states Julie Pisani.

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    Kus-kus-sum Restoration on Courtenay River on Vancouver Island: Historic Milestone in Reconciliation Makes History for Greener Planet


    “K’ómoks First Nation believes in partnerships, particularly when partnerships involve like-minded groups that share similar vision. It is in this spirit that we are happy to sign this collaborative agreement with the City of Courtenay and Project Watershed on behalf of our membership for the management and restoration of Kus-kus-sum,” states Chief Councillor Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks First Nation. “Restoring this cultural and historically significant site is a vision KFN shares with Project Watershed and the City of Courtenay. KFN’s interest in the site is largely based on its strong cultural significance.”

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    Sustainable Watershed Systems – what is the provincial government role in helping BC communities “get it right”?


    “The purpose of the document was to ‘tell the story’ of the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series in the words of those who embraced the concept and made it happen. The Learning Lunch series was precedent-setting. It came to fruition because of the commitment, the energy and the dedication of our local government partners in three regional districts – Cowichan, Comox and Nanaimo. We endeavoured to weave a seamless storyline that shows how the Learning Lunch series fits into a bigger picture,” stated John Finnie.

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    Water is not just about taxation, but rather the very essence that sustains our existence!


    “Being a very small community of approximately 850 parcels, another $5M is beyond us with our current commitment of $4.5M/15 year towards our aging distribution infrastructure,” stated Lynne Smith. “How can small communities have such a huge financial burden dropped on them without any financial assistance from the Provincial Government? As a group we continue to pursue an equitable solution for all mandated filtration systems, be they small or large. Some systems have received grants but others are left without any financial assistance.”

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    Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) for Watershed Assessment


    “By providing a value for the land underlying the stream and riparian zone, stakeholders have a much more realistic idea of the worth of the ecological services supplied by environmental assets,” stated Tim Pringle. “This form of financial information can then be used by local government to develop strategies guided by ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’.” A key message, he said, is to draw a distinction between maintenance and management.

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    Storm Cunningham coined the term “Restorative Development” in his 2002 book, “The Restoration Economy”


    “For the past 20 years, the focus of my work has been on bringing places back to life. I am always looking for commonalities – the factors that are present in the successes, or missing in the failures. Some issues seem to be fairly universal. Water is one them. The universality of water is apparent in the way that people renew their water, repurpose their waterfront, or reconnect to the water.”Water is a kind of magic revitalizer,” stated Storm Cunningham.

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