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Group says Comox’s efforts example of ‘reconnecting hydrology and ecology’

An environmental group is lauding Comox for its responsible water balance management.

The Town of Comox – A Beacon of Hope is a document released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in B.C.

The document was unveiled at the Comox council meeting on Sept. 11.

The group’s executive director Kim Stephens said the town’s practices are commendable.

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“It’s downstream flood protection and downstream ecological protection would be the way to think about Northeast Comox,” Stephens said.

“It comes back to the land development practices and more specifically how you do drainage and this is where the town has really gotten the drainage right. They’re managing the water cycle.”

He added that lessons learned through the Lower Brooklyn Creek channel enhancement project and Northeast Comox land development planning process, has been integrated into the Draft Anderton Corridor Neighbourhood Plan for Middle Brooklyn Creek.

Stephens said the town has established three provincial firsts:

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  • changed engineering practice and implemented the water balance methodology in northeast Comox to reduce downhill risk;
  • became the first demonstration application for testing the Ecological Accounting Process for valuation for the Brooklyn Creek corridor; and
  • Changed the Draft Anderton Corridor Neighbourhood Plan in mid-project to enhance the Package of Ecological Services.

Mayor Russ Arnott said the ecological services within Brooklyn Creek are integral components of the town’s core services of rainwater management, parks, and fish habitat protection.

“Once the town switched to viewing ecological services as core community services, we then asked ourselves: how can we do things better? The Draft Anderton Corridor Neighbourhood Plan is the result,” Arnott said.

“The town is reconnecting hydrology and ecology by embarking on a system approach on all levels. The approach includes amending bylaws, training staff, educating the development community and homeowners, creating new procedures, and formalizing roles and responsibilities.”

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