Connecting Communities Naturally


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A strategy to balance the needs of growth and development with conservation. Created for the Comox Valley, this unique and innovative approach, integrates natural connections into land-use planning. The intent is to protect, preserve and restore biodiversity for the benefit of current and future generations. Healthy living starts here!

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Connecting Communities Naturally

  1. 1. in Nature Without Borders II Connecting Communities Naturally
  2. 2. Who is the CVCS-CP? A partnership of 20 local organizations! They have come together to promote and implement Nature Without Borders. Comox Valley Land Trust Project Watershed Tsolum River Restoration Society Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards Morrison Creek Streamkeepers Comox Valley Water Watch Comox Valley Environmental Council Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society Black Creek Streamkeepers Perseverance Creek Streamkeepers Saratoga and Miracle Beach Residents Association Oyster River Watershed Management Committee Comox Town Residents Association Comox Valley Nature Forbidden Plateau Road Residents Association Friends of Comox Lazo Forest Reserve Friends of Strathcona Park Merville Area Residents and Ratepayers Association Arden Area Residents Association
  3. 3. What is the Strategy? A regional conservation plan that was initiated to protect the natural areas of the Comox Valley which are needed to maintain ecological health and quality of life The Strategy is based on the report: Nature Without Borders
  4. 4. Natural Areas Network The Strategy envisions Connecting Communities Naturally... Photo: A.Millham
  5. 5. Natural Areas Network ... through a network of healthy land and water ecosystems. Photo: A.Millham
  6. 6. Natural Areas Network By linking clean water, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and public trails into a network of natural areas, we can sustain a high quality of life for future generations. Photo: A.Millham
  7. 7. Natural Areas Network These systems connect ecosystems and habitats from coastline to alpine, allowing the widest range of native species to flourish and adapt to changes in land use and climate. Photo: A.Millham
  8. 8. Natural Areas Network These areas would be accessible to residents of the Comox Valley through an improved system of regional recreation trails. Photo: A.Millham
  9. 9. Why do we need a Conservation Strategy? To: STOP the loss of vital ecosystems RESTORE damaged ecosystems PREPARE for population growth PROTECT our quality of life
  10. 10. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011 The next imagery shows dramatic changes which occurred in a 25 year period.
  11. 11. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011
  12. 12. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011
  13. 13. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011
  14. 14. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011
  15. 15. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011
  16. 16. Timelapse of the Comox Valley 1984-2011 These changes are the cumulative impacts caused by modification of the land for residential & industry demands.
  17. 17. Managing Growth Over 84,000 residents by 2030! The Comox Valley is expected to grow to 84,000 full-time We are a community under construction!
  18. 18. A Balanced Approach The Conservation Strategy provides a plan that balances growth and conservation concerns. With 4 local and 1 tribal governments, we need a regional and proactive approach to the protection of natural systems which support healthy living.
  19. 19. Priority Conservation The Strategy has identified Priority Conservation Areas; which form a natural area network. When the natural area network functions properly, we have a strong and resilient network for our community to rely on. Photo: K.Dawson
  20. 20. Sensitive Ecosystems Sensitive Ecosystems support biodiversity and provide often unseen benefits to us; to our families and our communities. These areas provide natural fish farms, flood protection, water purification, climate regulation, and supply our energy needs. Photo: A.Millham
  21. 21. Priority Recreation Trails Linking the Comox Valley together and providing increased access to natural areas through walking, cycling and other non-motorized use.
  22. 22. Drinking Water We all get our drinking water from a watershed! Maintaining the natural function of all watersheds ensures that residents have safe, clean drinking water. Photo: K.Dawson
  23. 23. Upland Habitat Corridors If protected, these conceptual corridors would, over time, provide crucial areas for animals to breed and find food. Photo: A.Millham
  24. 24. Connecting Fragmented Areas Corridors connect isolated areas of core habitat and increase the ecological value of isolated and fragmented areas. -They are essential to the long-term survival and sustainability of biological diversity.
  25. 25. Aquatic Habitat Corridors Water resources like our lakes, estuaries, streams, aquifers and springs are home to 7 species of salmon, an array of shellfish, resident and migratory birds. Photo: A.Millham
  26. 26.  Insert map here ConnectingCommunities Naturally This map shows how these priority conservation areas would look connected on the ground.
  27. 27. Benefits There are social aspects that many enjoy, such as enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us. Photo: A.Millham
  28. 28. Economic Benefits $ Natural resources form the basis of local economy $ Lower taxes, as infrastructure lowered over long-term $ Increases property values $ Promotes tourism $ Attracts green investment labour
  29. 29. Ecological Benefits Stops more sensitive areas from being lost Allows adaptation to climate change Maintains ecological amenities, also known as Ecosystem Goods and Services
  30. 30. Ecosystem Services: provided by nature for free and largely not accounted for over time.
  31. 31. We can’t afford to wait! Blue listed species, like the Great Blue Heron, are vulnerable and are at risk from disappearing from our landscape Photo: A.Millham
  32. 32. Our Accomplishments: • Nature Without Borders was endorsed by all local governments • Input into RGS and Sustainability Strategies • Helped save NE Woods • Produced an Annual Conservation Calendar • 9 new Recommendations in NWB II
  33. 33. 9 New Recommendations: 1. Protect and restore remaining sensitive ecosystems 2. Develop and maintain landscape connectivity 3. Maintain natural systems function 4. Conserve healthy drinking water resources 5. Protection of forests and tree cover 6. Conserve, protect and restore estuaries and foreshore areas 7. Fill in gaps in environmental information 8. Develop and maintain a regional recreational trail network 9. Incentives for redevelopment of serviced urban lands
  34. 34. How will our Goals be achieved? Working with local governments • Providing environmental information and education • Advocating for and monitoring actions - Activities are guided by a Steering Committee with decisions made by consensus
  35. 35. Membership Supporter Organization: a) Have a representative sit on the steering Committee b) Representatives keep their group informed • May consider making a financial contribution Partner Organization:
  36. 36. Our Supporters:
  37. 37. Thank You! Visit us at: or Show your support and Photo: A.Millham