What’s New?

On May 24, 2024 members of the Baynes Sound Lambert Channel EcoForum will gather at Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station for semi-annual meeting. It is a special occasion as it marks the fifth anniversary of this unique gathering.

This meeting will mark a turning point as the EcoForum considers a new project.

The State of the Sound Project

Baynes Sound is an important marine environment. Ecologically. Economically. Culturally.  

Over the years knowledge has been gathered. Data has been collected. Studies have been done. But there has never been a comprehensive report on the state of the Baynes Sound. Accessing and sharing information continues to be a challenge.

Based on input from previous EcoForums, the steering committee is proposing a solution: a scientifically robust, publicly accessible State of the Sound report with an emphasis on the interconnectivity of an entire marine ecosystem.

This meeting will shape this project and determine its priorities. 

The EcoForum is in its fifth year. It was inspired by the vision that sharing perspectives and information could be a catalyst for good stewardship.  It is a tribute to participants that this effort at frank conversation among a diverse group of people with different perspectives has carried on.  We welcome your ideas on an effective EcoForum structure as it matures from its discussion phase to building a State of the Sound report.

                                                   The Morning Agenda

9:00am 9:30am   Doors open.  Time to grab a coffee. Chat with fellow participants and meet members of the steering committee.

9:30am Carl Butterworth EcoForum Co-Chair Opening and Welcome. 

9:35amDorrie Woodward: Why Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel need an Ecosystem Forum.

As a founding member of the Ecosystem Forum and chair of the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards, Dorrie Woodward was instrumental in conceiving of a multi-stakeholder and rightsholder organization to collectively work towards the long-term well-being of this exceptional marine ecosystem.  She will tell the story of the beginnings of the EcoForum, review its challenges and successes, and connect it to the work ahead including a State of the Sound report. 

9:45am – (Via Zoom) Kim Dunn. World Wildlife Fund. The Importance of Collaboration.

 In 2018, the World Wildlife Fund, Islands Trust, CVRD, ADIMS and BC Shellfish Growers came together with the resources to seed the EcoForum.

This included a 2019 report which assessed the existing degree of integration among management plans for Baynes Sound/Lambert Channel. 

On this fifth anniversary of the EcoForum, World Wildlife Fund’s Kim Dunn explains why a global organization saw merit in this unique community collaboration.

9:50am Luise Hermanutz. Denman Conservancy. How to think like an ecosystem. 

In this slide presentation, Luise Hermanutz will illustrate the connection between land and water in an ecosystem model.

9:55am Dave Weaver: President, Beaufort Watershed Stewards. The Tsable River Watershed Report.

The Tsable River Watershed Cumulative Effects (CE) Assessment is the second in a series of watershed health assessments undertaken by the Beaufort Watershed Stewards. It uses six core indicators of watershed health.  It was a labour of love for Dave Weaver. Can reports like this set the standard for monitoring larger watersheds that flow into Baynes Sound?  What can be learned from the process of this project that can help build a State of the Sound report?

10:10am Questions and Comments  

10:20am Rich Hardy: Sharing the K’ómoks First Nation’s Holistic Values

K’ómoks First Nation has stewarded the lands and waters of their traditional territory since time immemorial. Richard Hardy was the general manager for the K’ómoks First Nation’s Pentlatch Seafoods for 17 years and then served two terms as a Councillor for K’ómoks holding portfolios in fisheries and environment. Today, he works with his nation to enhance their role in the governance, management, and enforcement of the marine resources in Baynes Sound.

10:35am Questions and Comments

10: 45am Grab a Coffee

11:00am David Angus:  An Update on BC’s Coastal Marine Strategy

British Columbia is one of the few maritime jurisdictions in North America without a comprehensive coastal marine strategy. In 2020, the province committed to developing a strategy that articulates priorities and lays out actions to improve the health and stewardship of coastal marine environments. What’s the status of the strategy?  Will it protect and support the Baynes Sound marine ecosystem?  This is an update from the Assistant Director of BC’s Coastal Marine Policy, David Angus.

11:15am Questions and Comments.

11:40am Gord Johns and Daniel Arbour:  Changing the Status Quo. 

Influencing policy, regulatory or legislative change is an uphill climb. What’s the formula for getting decision makers to pay attention to stewardship issues in Baynes Sound?  Two veteran politicians share their experience in what works in driving a message home to the people who can change the way decisions are made about the Baynes Sound ecosystem.    

11:55am Today and Beyond  

Facilitator Janet Bonaguro reviews the morning’s work and outlines the objectives for the afternoon’s work around building a State of the Sound report.

12:05pm Lunch.   Buffet provided by SweetPea Catering courtesy of Vancouver Island University.

                                                   The Afternoon Agenda

1:00pm John Neilson, EcoForum Working Group on a State of the Sound Report.

An accessible, scientifically robust assessment of Baynes Sound, Lambert Channel and surrounding ecosystems could be a valuable stewardship tool in building common understanding and collaboration among rights holders and stakeholders. It could also be an effective way to influence policy and decision makers.  Many jurisdictions have found “State of…” reports to be useful. However, there are multiple options to consider in building a report. Fisheries biologist John Neilson sits on the State of the Sound working group. He outlines the options that the working group has been considering.

1:15pm -Facilitator Janet Bonaguro outlines the format and goals for the afternoon’s work.

1:30pm Table Discussions: Setting priorities

Break out tables will consider these issues (and possibly other questions that have arisen during the day):

  • objectives of a State of the Sound report
  • priority audiences
  • what themes should be explored?
  • choosing specific topics
  • identifying available data resources and works in progress.
  • who is currently missing in these discussions and what stakeholders should be invited?
  • financial resources and potential partners/funders.

2:00pm Building an Action Plan

During this final session, input from the breakout tables will be added to a blueprint for a State of the Sound report.  Potential content advisor groups will be discussed.  

We will be looking for suggestions as to the best methods to keep in touch with participants during this process.

3:00pm Safe travels home.

The Baynes Sound Lambert Channel EcoForum is grateful for the financial and in-kind support from Islands Trust, Comox Valley Regional District, Association of Denman Island Stewards, BC Shellfish Growers Association, and Vancouver Island University. As our work grows, we will be expanding our search for financial and in-kind support as well as partnerships.   We are now a registered society under BC law.

The Steering Committee Members are:  Carl Butterworth, co-chair; Chris Pearce,co-chair; Dorrie Woodward, secretary; Nico Prins, treasurer; Candace Newman, K’omoks First Nation; Chief Michael Recalma, Qualicum First Nation; Connie Graham,Tla’amin Nation; Caitlin Pierzchalski, Project Watershed; John Nielson, independent biologist. 

 If you are interested in volunteering as a board member or future working groups, please chat with one of our board members at today’s meeting or contact us at info@bayneslambertecoforum.ca