Photographs courtesy of Pat Morrow
So what are we about?
The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners came together several years ago in order to allow local communities to play a role in stewarding this very important wetland system. We are a registered non-profit group in good standing under the Society Act of British Columbia and a registered charity under Revenue Canada. As such, we graciously accept donations and bequeaths to assist with the enhancement, conservation and protection of the Columbia Wetlands.
The Upper Columbia River and the adjacent Columbia Wetlands will continue to function as a healthy flood-plain ecosystem with a complex biological community governed by natural fluvial and ecological processes. Human Communities will continue to benefit socially, environmentally and economically from this naturally functioning ecosystem and, in turn, the wetlands will contribute to the health and vitality of the communities in the upper Columbia River Basin. Residents in these communities will become engaged and motivated to adopt a stewardship ethic and will work collectively to demonstrate the benefits of a shared stewardship model for this important resource
The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners is made up of a diverse group of community interests, First Nations and government agencies created to develop effective stewardship and management practices for the Columbia Wetlands and the Upper Columbia River. The partnership, acting on their vision statement, will engage the general public and work with governments at all levels to implement a shared stewardship model for the management of the river and wetlands
The mandate of the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners is to steward the wetlands in accordance with our vision as a single system irrespective of ownership or jurisdiction and to take a pro-active stance in dealing with issues as they arise. We intend to take a positive, community and science based approach to issues related to the wetlands, and resolve issues neighbour to neighbour. The formation of this group is, in effect, local people taking responsibility for a natural landscape that they care deeply about.
The Partners, working with a range of participants, has assisted in the cleanup of several old dump sites adjacent to or in the wetlands.
The Partners have developed an adaptive science strategy and have supported several science based projects to help us develop a better understanding of how the system works and what we can do that will help to maintain natural processes in the wetlands and river.
The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners (CWSP) was formed in 2006 to develop and promote effective stewardship and management practices for the Columbia Wetlands. We are a non-profit organization registered under the BC Societies Act and a registered charity under Revenue Canada. Our partnership is made up of over 30 member groups, communities and agencies concerned with maintaining the ecological health of the Columbia Wetlands. CWSP includes various levels of federal and provincial government concerned with the wetlands, non-governmental organizations with an interest in the Upper Columbia River and associated wetlands, local First Nations, and business representatives from the tourism and forest sectors.
Our Directors are elected representatives providing strategic direction to the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners. They strive to work with local residents, communities and partnering organizations to ensure that the Columbia Wetlands and Columbia Valley maintain a healthy natural environment.
The BC Ministry of Environment has supported the establishment of the Partners with grants of $20,000.00 in its first two years and $40,000 for its third year. The Columbia Basin Trust initially provided $20,000.00 annually over the three years as a startup fund. CBT now supports specific projects meeting its criteria.
Over the last decade, members of the partnership have expended over 2 million dollars in projects related to the system and have contributed some $200,000.00 of in-kind efforts in the establishment of this group.
We continue to approach all levels of government for core funding and specific project support and received private funding from sources such as the Royal Bank’s Blue Water Fund. At present our major concern is finding sufficient funding to support the activities of The Partnership over the next several years. This would include the cost of an executive director (on contract), travel and meeting costs and the cost of projects that the Partnership felt were of sufficient importance that they would like to fund them directly rather than looking for outside project funding. The Partners have a science and monitoring committee that includes several academics and resource professionals who will ensure that high quality science is applied to the management of the system. The Partners have registered federal charitable status which we hope will encourage donations and project support from any number of sources.
Please let us know if you would like any further information, you can get in touch with the information on the contact page.