Watershed Governance in Coquitlam River: Fostering Participation through Integrated and Inclusive Watershed Planning

Watershed Governance in Coquitlam River: Fostering Participation through Integrated and Inclusive Watershed Planning


Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Problems and Purpose
  3. History
  4. Originating Entites and Funding
  5. Participant Recruitment and Selection
  6. Methods and Tools Used
  7. Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction
  8. Influence, Outcomes and Effects
  9. Analysis and Lessons Learned
  10. Secondary Sources
  11. External Links
  12. Tables



A new paradigm of watershed governance has emerged in recent decades, one which aims to improve stewardship and protection of rivers, lakes, and streams through community-based initiatives and cross-jurisdictional collaboration (Brandes, 2005; Parsons, 2015; Fielding, 2016). While past watershed regimes typically utilised technocratic and “command-and-control” approaches to governing water resources, present regimes are increasingly adapting holistic and integrated forms of governance (Ferreyra et al., 2008; Kramer and Pahl-Wostl, 2014; Parsons, 2015). Such approaches often emphasize bottom-up, participatory processes where communities and stakeholders are meaningfully involved in watershed planning alongside government authorities. However, implementing such approaches is often complex in practice and can face various political, economic, and institutional barriers. This paper focuses on the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable (hereafter "CRWR" or "the Roundtable"), a community derived planning entity in British Columbia, Canada that has overcome several traditional barriers to watershed governance by developing a multi-year participatory planning strategy for the Coquitlam River Watershed.

Problems and Purpose

The Roundtable was established through efforts of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to create a comprehensive vision for governing and conserving the Coquitlam River Watershed. In the finalized governance structure, a democratically formed ‘Core Committee’ was created to direct watershed governance in the Coquitlam River. Central to the Core Committee’s approach was to utilise and follow the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (hereafter “the Framework” or “Open Standards”) – an approach developed by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) to synthesize social, ecological, economic, and cultural values relating to natural resources and translate these values into achievable and realistic goals for conservation (CMP, 2015). The Open Standards, which is now utilised by communities and conservation organisations across the world, provides a comprehensive set of goals and indicators to maximize efficiency and effectiveness throughout the planning process. In the context of the Coquitlam River Watershed, it is useful to evaluate the ways in which the Open Standards may or may not have facilitated the success of the CRWR. In order to do so, this paper will first outline the historical context that instigated watershed governance in Coquitlam River; then review the participatory planning process that established the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable, and subsequently discuss the implications of adopting the Open Standards framework to guide the Roundtable’s governance practices. 


The Coquitlam River Watershed (CRW) is located north of the Fraser River and east of Vancouver, Canada. Like most of the urban watersheds in the region of Metro Vancouver, Coquitlam River has been severely impacted by increased human settlement and development in the past century. Major disturbances to the watershed in the 20th century included logging, mining, and the development of a dam, all of which reduced viable aquatic habitats and put greater pressures on fish species. Fortunately, however, fish species within the watershed have managed to persist in spite of human-induced pressures on aquatic and riparian ecosystems. As urban planning in Metro Vancouver has evolved to increasingly incorporate ecological values, and community-based stewardship has become more prevalent, the CRW has shown indications of recovering from some previous states of ecological degradation (JR Environmental, 2008).

Several key actors in the watershed, including Kwikwetlem First Nation, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Metro Vancouver and BC Hydro, have played a pivotal role in restoring fish habitat in the past two decades. Similarly, municipal and provincial government agencies have commissioned studies to assess and improve the ecological integrity of the watershed, and the regional electricity provider, BC Hydro, has invested in a long-term environmental monitoring program for the CRW. These cumulative efforts have transformed the Coquitlam River into an increasingly resilient watershed with a broad range of stakeholders invested in its long-term protection and stewardship.

Originating Entities and Funding

Governmental and community-based efforts to protect the watershed culminated in various stakeholders encouraging the development of an integrated and collaborative strategy for Coquitlam River Watershed. As interest in watershed planning became more pervasive, and examples of successful watershed planning across British Columbia began to support its feasibility, early visions began to be translated into the first steps to forming a Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy. This would eventually consist of four phases: (1) Background and Research (2) Community Engagement and Visioning (3) Governance Structure and Development, and (4) Implementation (Golder Associates, 2009).

The organizing entities of this planning process, albeit numerous, were primarily the City of Coquitlam and the Kwikwetlem First Nation, who agreed to lead the planning phases of the watershed plan from Phase I in 2007 to Phase IV in 2011. Among the many roles played by these two entities, they initiated the process by forming a Project Team to research and review the history of environmental activities that took place in the Coquitlam River Watershed. The members of the Project Team included the City of Coquitlam, Kwikwetlem First Nation, Watershed Watch, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. After the team had concluded its research, a consultant (JR Environmental) was hired to compile findings in “The Story of the Coquitlam River Watershed Past, Present and Future.” This document highlighted all essential information needed for planning, including a list of all stakeholders and applicable jurisdictions and roles in the watershed. Above all, this initial research phase set out recommendations for Phase II of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy, which outlined how public participation would take shape throughout the planning process (JR Environmental, 2008).

Participant Recruitment and Selection

In Phase II and III of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy, public engagement sessions occurred in order to ensure the wider community’s values and perspectives were captured in the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy. All participants of these sessions and other key stakeholders were formally invited to attend the watershed planning workshops as representatives of their respective group or sector. As evidenced in the table below, invitations to the workshops welcomed multiple participants from a particular organization to attend, while also keeping the latter workshops open to new stakeholders to participate.

Participant attendance in the CRW Strategy workshops varied from 45-65 individuals (see Table 1 below for list all participants in Phase II). Among the participants were representatives from local, regional, provincial, federal and First Nations governments, as well as individuals from conservation and recreation groups, local business and real estate development industry, and local residents. Bringing together these stakeholders displayed that there was a common desire to create a democratic entity to lead the governance of Coquitlam River Watershed.

Methods and Tools Used

Collaborative Planning

Designing a watershed planning process that mitigates conflict among divergent stakeholder interests is often a challenge. Moreover, decision-making in this field is largely subjective and value-laden, such as the degree to which a forest or watershed can be acceptably exploited for economic gain (Takeda, 2014). The purpose of multi-lateral decision-making and collaborative planning is to produce plans than are widely-acceptable and long-enduring by resolving disputes within the planning process. This is achieved by including in the planning process the sectors, groups or individuals with a significant stake in the outcome of a natural resource management plan (Gunton and Day, 2003). 

Integrated Water Resources Management

Whereas traditional water resource management often fails to address the complexity, uncertainty, and conflict in modern water resources planning, integrated management approaches have emerged to fill in these gaps. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) takes a bottom-up, as opposed to a top-down, approach to governing the natural environment and often utilises participatory democracy in decision-making (Fielding, 2016). IWRM is a form of ecosystem-based management which fosters participation and encourages respect for the diverse values and aspirations of communities.

The Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

The Open Standards framework was created to offer practitioners a series of analytical tools to determine planning priorities, effective processes, and desired outcomes in environmental conservation. It emphasizes adaptive management approaches applied through five steps – these entail “(1) conceptualizing the project vision and context; (2) planning actions and monitoring; (3) implementing actions and monitoring; (4) analyzing data, using the results, and adapting; and (5) capturing and sharing learning outcomes” (Fielding, 2016, pg. 26). Central to this framework is the involvement of relevant stakeholders, and utilising opportunities to develop and cultivate partnerships across sectors (Open Standards, 2013). Among the key advantages of the framework are the abilities to:

  • Better link actions to desired impacts;
  • Build in an evaluation framework from the beginning;
  • Synthesize all different types of information;
  • Use an iterative process that allows for faster implementation; and
  • Account for ecological goals and human goals, which are linked through the provision of ecosystem services (Fielding, 2016, pg. 26)

Creative Planning

During Phase II, facilitated workshops were held to engage the invited participants in creative planning. This deliberative tool was chosen by facilitators to allow participants the imaginative freedom often constrained during analytical debates and discussions where financial and practical feasibility are the primary drivers of idea-generation. 

Future Workshops

Most of the deliberations and decision making during Phase II and III were held under the framework of 'future workshops'. While other tools such as creative planning may help guid the process, future workshops involve three stages: critique (determining the current problem), fantasize (brainstorming solutions to the problem), and implementation (squaring the brainstormed ideas with practical limitations).

Thematic Dialogue Tables

Thematic dialogue tables were used primarily during Phase III of the deliberation process. Unlike the future workshops, dialogue tables were peer facilitated and only involved 10-12 participants. The first use came during the first workshop when participants were divided into seven groups of diverse representation by the facilitator. The main goal of these dialogue tables was to consider the capacity for particular managerial structures to support the vision, values, and mission statement outlined during the future workshops in Phase II.

Thematic dialogue tables were again used before reaching a consensus on the Roundtable management structure and the bodies' foundational documents. Participants were divided into smaller groups to deliberate on specific themes or topics such as funding availability, legal authority, and stakeholder representation.

Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction

The facilitated workshops conducted in Phase II and III offered spaces where a wide range of perspectives were shared and deliberated. Several participants gave presentations to provide background information, scientific data, and perspectives of the group or community that they represented. Above all, participation in the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy Phases II and III was sought to inform the design of the watershed plan, the structure of the permanent planning entity (i.e. the Roundtable), and for broader-scale visions and values to lead the process moving forward. Thus, in alignment with the Open Standards Framework, the participants were actively shaping the structural and procedural foundations of the Coquitlam River Watershed’s future planning activities.

Phase II, Workshop #1

The first workshop of Phase II occurred on March 5th, 2009 and was attended by 43 participants. To begin the workshop, the facilitator introduced the concept of “creative planning” to participants. The purpose of incorporating this approach was to ensure that the idea generation stage of the workshop remained separate from analytical decision-making stage, thereby encouraging participants to safely explore a wider range of possibilities without having to initially commit to these viewpoints. The facilitator also outlined several ground rules that all participants agreed to in order to foster an environment of openness and respect, these included: safety, participation, communication, creativity, and integrity of input (Golder Associates, 2009).

Afterward, the facilitator asked each participant to outline the expectations they had for the workshop. The expectations indicated by participants were as follows (Golder Associates, 2009):

  1. Synthesis
  2. Work together
  3. Toward a vision
  4. Define the vision
  5. Take river off endangered list
  6. Ensure the future
  7. Make river healthy and productive

Finally, the workshop proceeded with an agenda that included brainstorming values and drafting vision statements in five groups with diversely affiliated participants within each. The groups afterward converged to synthesize the five sets of values and vision statements that were created into a common vision and guiding values.

Phase II, Workshop #2

The second workshop occurred on March 13th, 2009 and was attended by 46 participants. With the same facilitation style and ground rules as the first, the workshop began by reviewing the outcomes of the first session and then finalized the Coquitlam River Watershed vision. Following this step was the creation of a mission statement, guiding principles, and a preliminary discussion on watershed governance. Discussions surrounding a mission statement led to several participants writing draft missions, which were in turn voted upon by the larger group as shown in Table 2 at the end of this document.

Phase II, Workshop #3

Finally, on March 26th 2009, the third workshop took place with 31 participants in attendance. There were two central outcomes expected from this workshop. The first was to finalize the watershed mission statement that was selected by participants in the previous workshop. The second was to continue deliberations on a potential governance structure for the CRW that would be formally developed in Phase III. Some of the preliminary suggestions from participants were as follows:  

  • A joint committee consisting of a majority of stakeholders that make plans and supervise the implementation by government
  • Decide when and how the goals are achieved
  • Accountable for implementing strategy
  • Responsibility – authority to make change
  • Accountable to public

While Phase II established a common vision, a mission statement, shared values, and preliminary notions of a governance framework for Coquitlam River Watershed, Phase III served to realize the latter deliverable through more intensive deliberation. In addition to creating a formal structure for collaborative watershed governance, Phase III served to initiate a plan for establishing a new body that would carry out the CRW Strategy in perpetuity. These expected outcomes were achieved through two workshops held nearly one year after the workshops of Phase II.

Phase III, Workshop #1

On February 2nd, 2010, the first workshop of Phase III was conducted with a total of 53 participants. The objectives of this workshop were: to outline the terms of reference (TOR) for the new governance body in CRW; and to confirm the overall direction, goals, and structure of the new CRW body. Notable within this workshop was deliberation on the pros and cons of various potential structures of governance. The workshop facilitator divided the participants into seven diverse groups and handed out a table that allowed participants to consider the capacity for particular structures to support the vision, values, and mission statement outlined in Phase II. Structures considered, along with their characteristics as described by participants, were the following (Dovetail Consulting, 2010, pg. 17-20):

  • “Helps coordinate groups with related goals”
  • “Like-minded groups build an alliance around a specific purpose”
  • “Limited number of entities work together towards shared objectives”
  • “Multi-interest group oriented around a geographical area/community”
  • "Constituted under Society Act, often with charitable status, but does not include government or diverse interests”
  • “Includes government representatives and may be legislated”
  • “Unique structure drawing on different above or new characteristics”

Pros and cons were outlined by each participant group, which eventually prompted the elimination of most suggested structures, as they were deemed unsuitable for carrying out the CRW vision. In the end, participants opted for a Roundtable structure, as it was considered to encompass the broadest range of stakeholders, while also striking a balance between government and community control – a decision that attempted to address the tension between Roundtable’s legal legitimacy derived from government, and participatory democracy derived from the community.

Phase III, Workshop #2

The second and final workshop of Phase III took place on March 18th, 2010, and the objectives outlined for this workshop were the following (Dovetail Consulting, 2010, pg. 261):

  • Review revised text for the description of the Coquitlam River watershed
  • Review a revised mission statement
  • Review draft guiding principles for the new body
  • Discuss and provide input on ideas for the Structure of the new body
  • Generate priorities for start-up projects for the new body

In order to draw out participant insights and views before engaging in a process to reach consensus, participants were asked to split up into breakout groups to discuss the proposed Roundtable structure along with its foundational documents. Concerns raised among participants included funding availability, legal authority, long-term coordination, and stakeholder representation. The latter issue of representation was subject to extensive debate and deliberation, as participants were tasked with determining whether to include one representative per sector (i.e. Stewardship, Industry, etc.) or one per stakeholder group, and which sectors may or may not be included.

The workshop facilitator proposed that the Project Team that had thus far coordinated the planning of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy could be expanded to a membership of 10-12 individuals to include other non-represented stakeholders. In this way, the results of Phase III workshops could be interpreted by a broader set of interests and drafted into a report co-written by all major sectors. One noteworthy suggestion from a participant was for stakeholder groups within a given sector that had participated in the planning process to meet and agree to nominate one individual to represent them on the Project Team, and eventually, the Roundtable.

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

After the public workshops of Phase II and III concluded, several key documents were now compiled and ready to be implemented through the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable.  In particular, Phase II had produced a set of values and a cohesive vision for the watershed (Golder Associates, 2009, pg. 5):

CRW Vision

"A healthy watershed supported and enjoyed by the community that respect our common values through: Partnerships and collaboration; Education, stewardship and monitoring; Conservation and green economics; and Responsible decision making. In perpetuity."

CRW Values

  • Spiritual qualities
  • Ecosystem integrity
  • Natural beauty
  • Native bio-diversity
  • Natural resources
  • Public access
  • Home/Heritage/Culture
  • Responsibility to protect
  • Recreation
  • Protected areas
  • Sustainability
  • Kwikwetlem known as Coquitlam – “Red fish up river” – a living river that reveals its spirit.

The vision and values outlined above were formally signed off by all but two participants in Phase II (Golder Associates, 2009), rendering the final product of the Phase II workshops achieved with nearly complete consensus among all the groups and sectors represented. This is particularly significant consider the wide range of political and economic interests among participants, ranging from the real estate and aggregate industries, to stewardship and recreation groups. The vision and values became a critical component to collaborative planning as it motivated stakeholders with divergent interests to find common ground and embrace shared goals.  

Meanwhile, Phase III established formal rules and a governance structure to guide watershed planning based on the vision and values of Phase II. The resulting governance structure, the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable, was tailored to be a democratic entity that is accountable to the stakeholders of the watershed. Deliberations in Phase III also revealed the shared belief that the Roundtable, not having any formal jurisdictional authority, would instead focus on creating a set of recommendations and work to influence jurisdictional decision-making at levels of government ranging from local to federal. What made this outcome especially promising was the presence of representatives of all orders of government during the planning process, ensuring institutional legitimacy and cross-jurisdictional cooperation.

The Core Committee, listed in Table 3, would be the key deliberative entity that is held accountable to the vision, values, and mission of Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy. Additional members of the Roundtable include a full-time coordinator who deals with logistics, communications, and organizing Roundtable meetings. This role was seen as critical to ensure the long-term continuity and accountability of the Roundtable. Lastly, a funders group consisting of key funding entities for the Roundtable such as local government, business, and utilities was established to ensure transparency and communication with the organisations financing the Roundtable. In all three cases the Roundtable openly promoted participation of citizens, however, a noteworthy condition of joining the Roundtable was an explicit commitment to take on a more long-term and formalized role in order to ensure participation is sustainable.

Lastly, Phase IV of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy officially established the Roundtable, and the Core Committee finalized all guiding documents created by stakeholders in prior phases. Since 2011, the 18-member Roundtable has been meeting bi-annually to undertake collaborative watershed governance.

In 2012, one of the decisive steps taken by the Core Committee was to adopt the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation to its long-term planning and monitoring of the Coquitlam River Watershed. Following the five-step framework laid out in the Open Standards, the Core Committee initiated Step 1: Conceptualize by identifying planning components that incorporate both environmental conservation and human well-being. In order to do so, the Core Committee held a public, facilitated dialogue to determine community and stakeholder views on what components are most important to the watershed. The following were identified (Fielding, 2016, pg. 93):

CRWR Environmental Conservation Components:

  1. The Coquitlam River System: Ensure management of water flows, water quality and habitat in order to support productivity and other ecological and human well-being values;
  2. Salmon: Ensure resilient, healthy populations of native salmon for current and future generations;
  3. Riparian Areas: Maintain and where possible, maximize the width and connectivity of intact and healthy riparian areas for proper ecological functioning along the Coquitlam River and tributaries; and
  4. Natural Areas: Maintain an interconnected network of land and water resources to support functioning natural systems, recreational opportunities and aesthetic values (CRWR, 2013).

CRWR Human Well-being Components:

  • Liveable Communities: Promote sustainable, liveable communities;
  • Resource Industries: Promote sustainable use of renewable resources and monitored, prudent use of non-renewable resources;
  • Human Health and Safety: Promote a watershed environment that contributes to human health, well-being and safety;
  • Stewardship: Foster a stewardship ethic in all who interact with the watershed;
  • Cultural and Spiritual Values: Support opportunities for people to connect in the watershed through personal spiritual experiences, heritage conservation and the arts; and
  • Recreation: Promote passive and active recreation that respects other users and the watershed. (CRWR, 2013).

With these components established, the Roundtable is now tasked clearly articulating how these goals will be implemented and measured in the future. To date, the Roundtable is still in the process of completing the five-step process of the Open Standards framework. Thus, further research in the future will be needed to evaluate its utility in achieving the Roundtable’s conservation and human well-being goals (CRWR, 2015).

Analysis and Lessons Learned


Several strengths can be attributed to the planning process of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy. First, with regards to collaborative planning, the extensive time allocated to deliberation in Phase II and III helped to create a common purpose for participants and led to “uncovering shared interests, recognizing interdependencies, and creating a positive environment for collaboration to unfold.” (Fielding, 2016, pg. 108). In the context of collaborative planning, such mutual understandings and interests facilitate success in reaching agreements, creating satisfying outcomes for stakeholders, and building long-term social capital (Gunton and Day, 2003).

Another observable strength in the CRWR process was the inclusivity of the Roundtable structure. In particular, a feedback survey distributed at the end of the planning process indicated that most participants felt all interests and values pertaining to the watershed were represented and voiced within the planning process as well as the Roundtable (Fielding, 2016). The organising entities of the Coquitlam River Watershed Strategy understood the importance of including all economic sectors that were impacting the health of the watershed, such as the real estate and aggregate industries; while also including all relevant jurisdictional regulators including officials from the Department of Oceans and Fisheries, Metro Vancouver, and the City of Coquitlam and City of Port Coquitlam, and the traditional stewards of the land – the Kwikwetlem First Nation.

The benefits of inclusiveness in the planning process are indeed numerous. First, finding solutions to conflicts and competing interests among diverge stakeholders is easier when a space is created to identify mutual interests and goals. Second, including a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives can often produce final agreements that are more holistic, comprehensive, and effective in practice. Third, an inclusive process that brings multiple sectors and interests can often generate more social, intellectual, and financial capital to address watershed management issues. Fourth, the outcome of a process involving a wide range of sectors is more likely to yield legitimacy and political support. Fifth, the public interest is more likely to be advanced when inclusiveness is foundational to a planning process (Brunner, 2002; Frame et al., 2004; Morton, 2009).

These strengths were complemented by sustained leadership and support from the municipal government, the City of Coquitlam, which fostered legitimacy and financial certainty for the watershed plan. Moreover, the fact that participants were involved in the design of the Roundtable and its accompanying strategy have ensured that the Coquitlam River Watershed is defined, measured, and monitored in alignment with community values and priorities. Lastly, the process has displayed characteristics of social learning and adaptive management, in which participants who initially held contrary views found ways to reconcile differences and focus on achieving common aspirations to preserve ecosystem health in the watershed.

With regards to the Open Standards, despites its relatively late implementation in the planning process (Phase IV), the framework offered several key advantages to participants in the Roundtable. First, the comprehensive guidelines offered by the Open Standards ensured that participants created clear and specific goals for the watershed. Second, it emphasized a holistic approach to watershed governance by requiring participants to develop conservation goals alongside human well-being goals, thereby forcing stakeholders to develop goals that were neither ecology-centric nor economy-centric. Last, the Framework promotes ‘self-design’, which denotes the deliberate use of creative planning opportunities to think beyond traditional paradigms of resource management and planning (Fielding, 2016).


In addition to the strengths of the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable, several weaknesses were also apparent. One was the difficulty participants found with articulating specific and comprehensive goals for the Roundtable. This was an issue that emerged in earlier phases of the planning process, thus it does not reflect the Open Standards method of goal articulation. The difficulties participants felt may be due to the facilitation style, or the relatively broad scale of the planning activities, which made specificity difficult to achieve (Fielding, 2016).

Another weakness expressed by several participants was a lack of cultural diversity on the Roundtable and a lack of use of traditional ecological knowledge to inform goals for the watershed. Such planning processes should seek out ways to incorporate multiple knowledge systems in order to attain the full benefit of a participatory planning process. This is another outcome that may have differed if the Open Standards were implemented from Phase I, as the key principle in the framework is accepting and utilising all forms of knowledge and expertise of participants in the planning process.

Yet another criticism is that the lack of a formal communications strategy for the CRWR. This resulted in inconsistencies in informing the public of progress made during the planning phases. Therefore, developing a strategy that ensures the public is routinely informed and aware of the state of both Roundtable deliberations and the watershed’s health would encourage greater community involvement.

Lastly, a notable weakness relating to the Open Standards framework was its conceptual complexity, especially in light of its late adoption as a guiding framework for the Roundtable. A recent planning evaluation found that nine of 13 interviewees from the planning process found that the Open Standards framework was too “conceptually difficult” to be feasibly implemented into all phases of planning and implementation (Fielding, 2016). This suggests that despite its flexibility in practice, the complexity of its principles and steps in practice can be a considerable limitation.


The case of the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable sheds considerable light on practices that ensure watershed planning is participatory, actionable, and sustainable in the long-term. Stakeholder involvement produced higher levels of political acceptability for watershed conservation and allowed all orders of government to exercise their mandates and regulations more effectively and collaboratively. The leadership roles played by both the Kwikwetlem Nation and the City of Coquitlam likewise showcase a useful example of effective co-management in a complex legal and political environment. Lastly, although it is likely that the full benefits of the Open Standards framework could not be captured due to its late initiation, the holism, transparency, and inclusivity that it fosters make it a promising framework for future examination. Above all, the CRWR contributes to the success of the emerging paradigm of integrated and collaborative watershed governance, by finding meaningful ways to introduce democracy in decision-making pertaining to the watersheds we all depend on.


Secondary Sources

Brunner, R.D. (2002). Problems of governance. In Brunner, R.D., C.H. Colburn, C.M. Cromley, R.A. Klein, and E.A. Olson (eds.), Finding Common Ground: Governance and natural resources in the American West. United States: Yale University Press, 1-47.

Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable (CRWR). (2013). Lower Coquitlam River watershed plan: Step 1. Retrieved from:http://www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca/sites/default/files/Lower%20Coquit...

Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable (CRWR). (2015a). Our watershed: History. Retrieved from:             http://www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca/content/background. 131

Dovetail Consulting Group. (2010). Coquitlam River watershed strategy: Public assemblies on phase III –                governance strategy and direction setting. Retrieved from:             http://www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca/sites/default/files/CRWS_Phase_III...

Fielding, J. (2016). Evaluating the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable Planning Process and the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation Framework. MRM Report 634. Burnaby, BC: School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University.

Frame, T. M., Gunton, T.I., and Day, J.C. (2004). The role of collaboration in environmental management: An evaluation of Land and Resource Planning in British Columbia. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 47(1), 59-82

Golder Associates Limited. (2009). Coquitlam River watershed strategy community engagement and visioning phase II: Seeking a common vision for the Coquitlam River watershed. Retrieved from:             http://www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca/sites/default/files/CRWS_Phase_II_...

Gunton, T.I., and Day, J.C. (2003). The theory and practice of collaborative planning in resource management. Environments, 31(2), 31-46.

JR Environmental. (2008). The story of the Coquitlam River watershed: Past, present and future. Retrieved from: http://www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca/sites/default/files/CRWS_Phase_I_B...

Morton, C.A.J. (2007). Evaluating collaborative planning: A case study of the Morice land and resource             management plan. MRM Report 482. Burnaby, BC: School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University.

Parsons, K. (2015). Restoring a "Paradise of a Place": Exploring the potential for urban Ecoststem-based Managament in the Still Creek Watershed. Vancouver, BC. Simon Fraser University.

Takeda, L. (2014). Islands' Spirit Rising: Reclaiming the Forests of Haida Gwaii. UBC Press.

External Links

Coquitlam River Watershed Website

Kwikwetlem First Nation


Table 1: Participants of Phase II Workshops (Adapted from Golder Associates, 2009)

Interest Type                   Organization                                                                                      

Municipal                        City of Coquitlam – Planning (8)*                                                           

Municipal                        City of Port Coquitlam – Planning (2)                                                   

Municipal                        City of Coquitlam – Mayor                                                                      

Municipal                        City of Port Coquitlam – Mayor                                                              

Municipal                        City of Port Coquitlam – Councilor                                                       

Regional                         Metro Vancouver – Parks (2)                                                                 

Regional                         Metro Vancouver                                                                                    

Federal                           DFO – Oceans, Habitat and Enhancement Branch (2)                        

First Nation                     Kwikwetlem First Nation (3)                                                                   

Stewardship                    Maple Creek Streamkeepers (4)                                                            

Stewardship                    Burke Mountain Naturalists (3)                                                              

Stewardship                    Individual citizens (2)                                                                              

Stewardship                    Hoy/Scott Watershed Society (2)                                                           

Stewardship                    Coquitlam River Watershed Society                                                       

Stewardship                    Coquitlam River Watch                                                                          

Stewardship                    Friends of Deboville Slough                                                                    

Stewardship                    North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project                                              

Stewardship                    Institute of Urban Ecology                                                                       

Consultant                      Golder Associates Ltd. (2)                                                                      

Consultant                      Keystone Environmental (2)                                                                   

Consultant                      Kwikwetlem First Nation Environmental Advisor                                 

Consultant                      Lucent Strategies Inc.                                                                             

Community                     Individual citizens (7)                                                                             

Community                     Arts Connect                                                                                           

Power                             BC Transmission Corporation                                                           

Power                             BC Hydro                                                                                                

Power                             BC Hydro – Aboriginal Relations Coordinator                                    

Aggregate Industry         Jack Cewe Ltd.                                                                                      

Aggregate Industry         Allard Contractors                                                                                  

Recreation                      Blue Mountain Motorcycle Club                                                             

Business                         Generation Maintenance                                                                        

*Brackets denote multiple participants

Table 2: Adopted from Golder and Associated 2009

  • Act in a fashion intended to instill profound respect for natural waterways (3 votes)
  • To create a community that recognizes, promotes, and works to improve the habitat of the watershed through advocacy, public works and education (13 votes)
  • Educate, advocate and communicate. Promote and support citizen participation (16 votes)
  • Collaboratively facilitate measures that result in a healthy and sustainable bio-diverse watershed in perpetuity (4 votes)
  • Sharing values (0 votes)
  • Improve and maintain the long term health of the Coquitlam watershed through collaboration of all stakeholders invested (4 votes)
  • Continually move citizens of the watershed toward the vision (0 votes)
  • Work towards having the Coquitlam river as vibrant as it was before a dam being built (0 votes)

Table 3: Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable Core Committee


Local Government - City of Coquitlam, City of Port Coquitlam

First Nations - Kwikwetlem First Nation

Regional Governmnet - Metro Vancouver

Utilities - BC Hydro

Federal Government - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Provincial Government - BC Ministry of Energy and Mines

Aggregate Industry - Jack Cewe Limited

Real Estate Development - Brook Pooni Associated, Urban Development Institute

Outdoor Recreation - Riverside Fly and Tackle

Stewardship - North Fraser Salmon Associate Program; Tri-city Green Council; Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club

Education - BC Institute of Technology (BCIT)

Arts and Culture - ArtsConnect 

Case Data


Coquitlam River
3000 Guildford Way
V3B 7N2 Coquitlam , BC
British Columbia CA


Start Date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
End Date: 
[no data entered]
Number of Meeting Days: 
[no data entered]


Total Number of Participants: 
Targeted Participants (Demographics): 
Other: Demographics: 
Indigenous People
Other: Public Roles: 
First Nation Band
First Nation Band Council
Other: Method of Recruitment: 


Total Budget: 
[no data entered]
Average Annual Budget: 
[no data entered]
Number of Full-Time Staff: 
[no data entered]
Number of Part-Time Staff: 
[no data entered]
Staff Type: 
[no data entered]
Number of Volunteers: 
[no data entered]


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