Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Bringing Communities Together to Embark on Major Estuarine Restoration

Description

In the fall of 2008, Project Watershed Society, a small environmental organization in the Comox Valley, organized a symposium on the local estuary. The intent of the symposium was to increase awareness of the estuary in the community. The organizers of the event further believed it was important to follow up on the learning that took place with action. This session examines what happened from the design of the symposium to the invite to act on the ideas that emerged from the symposium.

The action group that formed grounded their work in their vision for the estuary and a set of principles they developed which guided their activities. The vision was further refined in their stated purpose to restore and protect the estuary. All ideas that in some way contributed to this purpose were considered with significant contributions realized: in the work of a local archaeologist who has conducted ground breaking research on ancient fish traps in the estuary; in the contribution of the Arts community which has participated in an annual art show and auction; by efforts to secure a former industrial site with the intent of restoring the land to its natural state; through the development of an interactive animated map of the estuary that is proving to be a source of data on the estuary available to planners, developers and the public alike; and through a research project designed to assess the potential of eelgrass to sequester carbon during its annual life cycle.

The project has engaged both the indigenous and non indigenous community, built an inter-organizational partnership, drawn on the knowledge of people from varied disciplines, and brought about increased awareness and support for restoring and protecting the estuary.

Comments

generative, emergent, engaged, interdisciplinary, indigenous & non indigenous engagement

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From Symposium to Action

2016SSEC

In the fall of 2008, Project Watershed Society, a small environmental organization in the Comox Valley, organized a symposium on the local estuary. The intent of the symposium was to increase awareness of the estuary in the community. The organizers of the event further believed it was important to follow up on the learning that took place with action. This session examines what happened from the design of the symposium to the invite to act on the ideas that emerged from the symposium.

The action group that formed grounded their work in their vision for the estuary and a set of principles they developed which guided their activities. The vision was further refined in their stated purpose to restore and protect the estuary. All ideas that in some way contributed to this purpose were considered with significant contributions realized: in the work of a local archaeologist who has conducted ground breaking research on ancient fish traps in the estuary; in the contribution of the Arts community which has participated in an annual art show and auction; by efforts to secure a former industrial site with the intent of restoring the land to its natural state; through the development of an interactive animated map of the estuary that is proving to be a source of data on the estuary available to planners, developers and the public alike; and through a research project designed to assess the potential of eelgrass to sequester carbon during its annual life cycle.

The project has engaged both the indigenous and non indigenous community, built an inter-organizational partnership, drawn on the knowledge of people from varied disciplines, and brought about increased awareness and support for restoring and protecting the estuary.