NALT ramps up river symposium preparations

Nanaimo River Stewardship Symposium 2011 set to take place from Sept. 23-25.

A symposium later this month is designed to create an initial strategy for long-term protection of the Nanaimo River watershed.

Organizers recently added a high-profile name to its growing list of speakers, said Gail Adrienne, executive director of the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust.

Bob McDonald, host of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, was confirmed Thursday as a guest speaker at the Nanaimo River Stewardship Symposium 2011, and will give a special presentation on worldwide issues surrounding water on Sept. 23, the opening night of the three-day conference.

McDonald’s presentation will be preceded by the premier of Paul Manley’s newest video, Voices of the River.

For the last six months Manley has interviewed a broad range of people who share a common bond – their connection to the river and their need for it.

“We want to stress that this symposium isn’t an end, it’s a start of creating a strategy toward stewardship,” said Adrienne. “It’s the first step to beginning that long term vision and getting people at the table together for starters. Different interests, different stakeholders, getting them to talk to each other and to listen to each other and get past some of the us and them kind of attitudes.”

An informal first day of various activities will include rafting down the lower Nanaimo River, a guided hike, touring the river hatchery or testing adrenaline at Wild Play. That will be followed by McDonald’s and Manley’s presentations.

Saturday will see the symposium begin in earnest on developing a strategy at the theatre at Vancouver Island University.

Three keynote speakers include Craig Wightman of the B.C. Conservation Foundation, and Rodger Hunter and Tom Rutherford, who will give presentations on the development of the Cowichan River Water Management Plan, the formation of the Cowichan Watershed Board and its adoption of sustainability targets.

“These three speakers will be focusing on the whole philosophy of using the Cowichan River as a model of one that has set up a really good strategy,” said Adrienne. “And planning for public access and multi-use of the Nanaimo River resource.”

She added the Nanaimo River is particularly valuable because it serves as the city’s water source.

After information from a 10-chapter baseline report is presented, participants will go into five different break-out sessions to help establish a protection strategy.

Some stakeholder groups include: representatives from fisheries, forestry, Harmac mill employees, property owners, VIU students and faculty, recreation, the regional district and City of Nanaimo, and the community at large. Adrienne is also hoping First Nation representatives will participate.

When the symposium ends at noon Sunday, activities will move from VIU to Maffeo Sutton Park, where it will partner with the City of Nanaimo to celebrate World Rivers Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free event will include entertainment, live music, barbecued salmon burgers, and information booths.

“We hope people come away from this with a better understanding of each other and how everybody needs to work together for the benefit of the river,” said Adrienne.

Sponsorships for the symposium are still available. Please contact NALT at 250-714-1994 or e-mail for sponsorship opportunities or to register.

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read