Community meeting aims to raise awareness of Nanaimo River

NALT and MISSI invite public to community information meeting on Nanaimo River.

The Nanaimo River is an important ecological habitat for animals and fish and a key water source for the area, but the majority of the river flows through private land.

The Nanaimo and Area Land Trust wants to discuss the importance of the river, how to create a stewardship strategy to protect and preserve it for future generations at an upcoming community information meeting.

The meeting takes place Tuesday (Aug. 2) at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Heritage Centre, 1644 McMillan Rd.

“We put the community meeting together just to get people out and talking about the watershed, their impact on it and its impact on them,” said Gail Adrienne, NALT executive director.

Adrienne said the focus of the meeting is to engage the community and keep it informed about NALT’s campaign to develop long-term strategies for conservation, and get people sharing their ideas and concerns about the watershed.

The meeting is held in partnership with the Mid-Island Sustainability and Stewardship Initiative.

Laurie Gourlay, president of MISSI, said the meeting is part of the organization’s goal of examining what is needed to maintain the river in a sustainable manner and encourage stewardship in the community.

“It’s (the Nanaimo River) so essential to the well-being of everyone in the region that I would like to see people to be willing to preserve and protect this valuable asset,” he said.

MISSI will present its current projects and speak about its proposal for a Mid-Island and Communities biosphere reserve between Nanaimo and Ladysmith harbours. The organization believes it would be a natural fit with the work being done by the government to create national marine conservation areas.

The community meeting is a prelude to a symposium NALT has planned for Sept. 24-25 in conjunction with World Rivers Day (Sept. 25). It aims at creating partnerships with organizations to begin a river conservation effort and hopes to present an environmental assessment of the river that identifies the bio-diversity and values of the watershed including water quality, fish habitat, wildlife corridors, development threats, recreational opportunities and more.

“We’re still hammering out the details of it,” said Adrienne

People can check NALT’s website in the coming months for details about the symposium.

For more information please contact NALT at 250-714-1990 or go to www.nalt.bc.ca.