West Coast Aquatic facilitates collaborative resource management at various scales. Salmon Roundtables exist to bring governments and stakeholders together at a local scale to work together on fisheries, restoration, conservation, and enhancement. The WCA Governance Board exists to bring multiple decision-makers together at a regional scale to advance the future of the region together.
West Coast Aquatic is founded upon the principle of collaborative management with coastal communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Collaborative management is a time-tested, effective process that consists of several interconnected concepts including:
The governments, coastal communities, and other persons and bodies affected by aquatic resource use are together responsible and accountable for integrated aquatic resource management. The responsibility for integrated management decisions should coincide with the ecological unit, nature of the issue, the scale of impact, the ability to collect relevant information, and management capacity. There should be effective communication, information flow and linkages between various levels.
Shared Decision Making
Coastal communities and other persons and bodies affected by aquatic resource management should have an opportunity to participate in the formulation and implementation of integrated aquatic resource management decisions, while respecting statutory authorities. The participation of coastal communities and other persons and bodies affected by aquatic resource management will promote improved decisions.
Information to Action
Shared decision making and shared responsibility mean nothing unless action is taken as a result. Once knowledge has been shared and consensus has been reached, collaborative management's final stage is to put knowledge into action. Outcomes vary depending upon the group and the project, and may include outreach events, dissemination of information, shared learning spaces, and hands-on activities.