The Howe Sound Community Forum brought together a diversity of voices including First Nations and representatives of ‘aquatic-focused’ community groups, businesses, institutions and individuals to share their planning visions for Howe Sound. The purpose of the day was to explore planning options and identify priority actions related to the Howe Sound aquatic environment. There were presentations in the morning, small focused working groups in the afternoon, and an activity at the end to coalesce key points and address next steps. A witnessing ceremony was led by Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation, with four witnesses sharing their observations at the day’s conclusion.
The Aquatic Forum resulted in several important outcomes. First, the Forum contributed to important relationship building, perspective sharing, and networking. Second, the Forum produced a draft Howe Sound Vision and draft Goals to guide future planning efforts. Third, participants were introduced to a variety of different planning approaches and discussions were facilitated to explore how these different approaches could help achieve overall goals in Howe Sound. Finally, participants identified key aquatic-related issues in Howe Sound and worked in small groups to draft priority “Action Plans” to address these issues. Summarizing this content provides an important foundation for future planning efforts in Howe Sound and provides some potential directions and initiatives to explore. The draft Howe Sound Vision and Goals, and other Forum materials can be viewed in the Howe Sound Aquatic Forum Summary.
We would like to thank all of the Aquatic Forum participants, as well as those who expressed interest but were unable to attend. Special thanks go to the David Suzuki Foundation for resourcing the event, with additional support from DFO’s local community advisor, Rob Bell-Irving.