Watershed Resilience CLIMATE CHANGE, COLLABORATION AND LANDSCAPE RESTORATION was an engaging three-part webinar highlighting the power of collaboration between local government, environmental organizations, First Nations, elected leaders and industry. 

This collaboration is essential to mobilize and respond effectively to the impacts of climate change. Together we learned about exciting projects and initiatives that are reconnecting ecology and hydrology in the built and natural environments of the Comox Valley.   

The Webinar was designed and hosted by the Comox Valley Land Trust, Connected By Water and the Cumberland Community Forest Society with support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Comox Valley Regional District and Lush Cosmetics

On behalf of the co-hosts we extend our thanks and appreciation to the incredible presenters who shared their passion, knowledge and committment to community collaboration and resilience.

OPENING SESSION:
Stitching Together Altered Landscapes - Originally broadcast Oct 21, 2020.

Over the past 150 years, the Comox Valley landscape has been transformed by logging, coal mining, agriculture, road building, industry, and development.

These altered landscapes are where the local impacts of climate change – flooding, erosion, and loss of biodiversity – first become evident. But these altered landscapes also hold the greatest potential for building resiliency. Kus-Kus-Sum, The Courtenay Estuary, Morrison Headwaters, Perseverance Watershed, Comox Lake – these places are at the heart of our local climate story. 

Experience this visual exploration of local land use history and current day conservation in action from mountain top to ocean floor. Together, in partnership with local government, indigenous leadership, industry and community, we are stitching together altered landscapes of the Comox Valley.

Presenters:

  • Jesse Ketler – MC/Host, Chair Comox Valley Regional District:
  • Jesse Morin – Archeologist and K’omoks First Nation researcher:
  • Tim Ennis – Executive Director, Comox Valley Land Trust and Conservation Partnership:
  • Meaghan Cursons – Executive Director, Cumberland Community Forest Society:
  • Jennifer Sutherst – Estuary Coordinator & Staff Biologist, Project Watershed

SESSION 2 : Water, Place and Reconciliation - Originally broadcast Oct 22, 2020.

What is the starting place for our work in water sustainability, landscape scale restoration, collaboration and facing the impacts of a changing climate? It starts with an understanding of the culture, land, water, and stories of the places where we do our work. Join us for this welcome to the territory of the K’omoks First Nation and an introduction to the exciting projects underway that demonstrate our shared commitments.

Presenters: 

  • Wedlidi Speck – Cultural Advisor:
  • Tim Ennis – Project Manager, Kus Kus Sum Project:
  • Doug Hillian – Councillor City of Courtenay:
  • Caila Holbrook – Fundraising and Community Engagement, Kus Kus Sum, Project Watershed

SESSION 3 :
Regional Collaboration for Watershed Resilience - Originally broadcast Oct 22, 2020.

The Comox Valley has never witnessed the scale of cross sector and cross jurisdictional work toward watershed sustainability than we have in the past 5 years. At the forefront of these collaborations are the Watershed Advisory Group, the Comox Lake Municipal Natural Assets Initiatives and recent land protection actions in the Comox Lake Watershed. This session will explore the complexities and opportunities of this regional collaboration at work.

Presenters:

  • Kris La Rose – P.Eng. CVRD Senior Manager of Water/Wastewater Services:
  • Michelle Molnar – Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation:
  • Kevin McPhedran – Village of Cumberland’s Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator:
  • Meaghan Cursons – Executive Director, Cumberland Community Forest Society, Community Engagement, Connected by Water

SESSION 4: Climate Change and Community Planning - Originally broadcast Oct 23, 2020.

Local government leadership is making it clear that meaningful community engagement and climate change awareness are critical to all levels of community planning. What tactics make a real impact? How do we deepen interest and engagement to achieve success? From official community plan processes to sea rise response strategies – community engagement in climate adaptation is at the top of the agenda.

Presenters:

  • Will Cole-Hamilton – Councillor, City of Courtenay: 
  • Wedlidi Speck – Cultural Advisor:
  • Tatsuyuki Setta – Manager of Community and Sustainability Planning, City of Courtenay:
  • Nancy Gothard – Policy Planner, City of Courtenay: 
  • Robyn Holme – CVRD Coastal Flood and Mitigation Planning:
  • Serina Allison – SD71 Comox Valley, Environmental and Outdoor Learning Lead District Teacher

SESSION 5: 
Building a Legacy of Watershed Protection  Originally Broadcast October 23, 2020

Connected by Water is a program of the Comox Valley Regional District to build capacity, connection, and community in support of watershed protection. This project connects schools, parks, sporting events, campgrounds and the public to stories and actions that help support the health of our watershed. Learn more about the approaches, messages, and successes of this project and how it can be applied to our collective efforts to support a climate resilient watershed in the Comox Valley.

Presenters:

  • Tina Willard Stepan – Environmental Educator, CVRD Connected by Water:
  • Meaghan Cursons – Public Engagement CVRD Connected by Water:
  • Genevieve Burdett – Executive Director, Cumberland Lake Park Wilderness Society.