April 16, 2013
On Saturday, April 13th, 2013 local, Provincial and Federal Government representatives, First Nations, industry and business associations and non-profit organizations who have a connection to the region, came together for a dialogue on moving forward with a common vision for Howe Sound.
Over 130 people representing 65 various organizations attend the Forum held at the Gleneagles Golf Course Banquet Hall in West Vancouver. Our expected outcomes for the day were
- To find common ground between all levels of government, non- profits, First Nations, industry and business towards building a vision for Howe Sound
- To engage interested parties in dialogue about the values in the Howe Sound region
- To discuss a way forward towards development of an overall comprehensive management plan
Based on the 11 round table discussions, the top ideas were brought forward and consolidated. From the 140 people participating, these were the common thoughts and commitments:
- We will actively participate and collaborate with all key players, including youth in the development of a comprehensive land and water use plan that is sustainability focused and science based.
- We will actively engage our members by building awareness of the issues regarding Howe Sound.
- We will engage in the development of a plan that protects a holistic healthy ecosystem, continues to provides a natural community for future generations of families and preserves the pristine wilderness in harmony with nature.
Howe Sound is North America’s southernmost fjord and home to over 53,000 permanent residents. It is bordered by three (3) regional districts and contains a broad diversity of active communities. In the summer population swells with tourists, vacation home owners, and seven children’s wilderness camps. It provides a popular and easily accessible destination from Vancouver for outdoor recreation including boating, kayaking, sail boarding, scuba diving, camping, fishing, hiking, etc. It supports renewable industrial and commercial activities including a pulp and paper mill, an active commercial fishery that serves local markets, and it is regularly used by film & TV crews as a “wild” location rarely found so close to a major metropolitan center. Howe Sound is also a prime research and teaching area for the Vancouver Aquarium and UBC marine sciences. In turn, this broad range of communities and activities supports a significant sustainable economy throughout Howe Sound and the surrounding urban areas.
To preserve the balance between all user groups, while recognizing that the area is now experiencing environmental recovery from past years of industrial abuse, it is time to come together for a plan focused on this region that sustains this recovery and will maintain the areas liveability for the enjoyment of future generations.
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