The Colquitz Watershed Stewardship Coalition (Colquitz Coalition, for short) is a diverse collection of groups, societies and associations who care about environmental restoration, conservation and stewardship in the Colquitz Watershed.
The Coalition was formed in 2014 to foster increased communication, partnership and sharing of information and resources among the groups and the general public.
On March 01, 2014 the Friends of Swan Creek Watershed and Peninsula Streams Society hosted a facilitated workshop to discuss the possibility of forming a coalition of environmental stewards operating within the Colquitz River watershed. A large number of individuals attended representing a broad range of groups and interests.
The Colquitz River Watershed is both typical and unique for an urban watershed. Firstly the watershed, comprising approximately 49 square kilometres, lies entirely within a single Municipality – Saanich. Often urban watersheds lie across several jurisdictions. However it does possess very typical challenges for a watershed lying within a mix of land uses. An overview of the issues and concerns facing the maintenance of environmental integrity and the opportunities for addressing these issues are outlined in the March 1 workshop report entitled Meeting of the Colquitz Watershed Stewards prepared by Anne-Marie Daniel of the Roy Group.
The primary concern identified was lack of communication amongst the various groups, societies and associations carrying out projects within the watershed. There was also no central location to find previous reports and data collected on these activities. Nor was there a listing of stewards and their contact information. It was important for the thirty one person’s attending and the eighteen stewardship groups they represented, to remedy this situation.
The workshop attendees agreed unanimously that an umbrella group should be formed to address these shortfalls. The majority also agreed that communication through a website would best suit the sharing of reports, data, current projects, contact information and upcoming activities. It was also agreed that a follow-up meeting should be held in the next few months.
A small group met on June 25, 2014 to discuss the report of the March 01 workshop compiled by the Roy Group and to identify the next steps to be taken. A high priority was given to the development of a website. A five person Steering Committee was established. Members include Chris Bos, Ian Bruce, Bob Cox, Debbie Oostland and Wayne Zaccarelli.
The Steering Committee met on July 10, 2014. The first order of business was to select a formal name for the umbrella stewardship group. We will now be known as the COLQUITZ WATERSHED STEWARDSHIP COALITION. The purpose and priorities of the Coalition were discussed by the Committee and work was started on developing text for the website.
The issues and priorities that were noted as being of major concern include, but are certainly not limited to:
1. Integrated Stormwater Management Plan
2. Watershed Management Plan
4. Invasive species management
5. Water quality and quantity
6. Habitat enhancement (stream, lake, terrestrial)
7. Pollution education, abatement & remediation