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Georgia Strait Alliance Launches Vancouver Waterfront Initiative

Christianne Wilhelmson, GSA

On October 22nd, 2013, another fun crowd of 1% for the Planet business members and NGO partners convened for socializing and exchanging ideas at the Vancouver Member Meet Up at East of Main Café.   This month’s featured speaker was Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director of Georgia Strait Alliance, a 1%FTP partner nonprofit, who offered an opportunity for interested 1%FTP members to work together with GSA on an exciting new Waterfront Initiative.

As representatives from 1%FTP members Mountain Equipment Co-op, Salt Spring Coffee and Michael Green Architecture listened intently, Christianne explained that in Vancouver, as in most cities where land and water meet, the waterfront shows the stresses of increasing urban densification built and managed on less-than-sound ecological principles. Rising sea levels and other effects of climate change, along with increasing land-use conflicts caused by competing needs of waterfront stakeholders, pose serious challenges that have to be addressed.

New solutions are required to meet the needs of housing, industry and recreation, while protecting the natural ecology of the area. With this in mind, Christianne and her team at Georgia Strait Alliance were inspired by the achievements of the New York area’s Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and began considering ways to bring this model to Vancouver.

GSA’s new Waterfront Initiative leverages the organization’s strengths as a coalition builder to convene a diverse and influential collaborative – one that will take a consensus-based approach to working to restore, protect and revitalize the waterfront of Metro Vancouver.

1%FTP member companies and interested non-profits are invited to take a part in this multi-sector collaboration.  For more information, see the GSA website or email Christianne at christianne@georgiastrait.org.

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