Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers



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Faye Smith Rosenblatt
March 6, 1937 - March 23, 2017

Faye Smith RosenblattThe Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers and the Oceanside Environmental Community lost a great friend and advocate on March 26, 2017 with the passing of Faye Smith Rosenblatt.

Faye was a co-founder (1995) and ongoing director of our society and was a driving force in the delivery of over seventy projects supporting wild salmon habitat from the Englishman River to Little Qualicum River watersheds.

As a Memorial to Faye, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers along with other Community Groups and the Town of Qualicum Beach, have undertaken a project to replace the well-worn “Brant Viewing Platform” at the west end of Qualicum Beach with a new, enhanced structure.

This will include interpretive signage at this site and at nearby Grandon Creek. This project is planned for completion in 2018.

To learn more about Faye’s considerable achievements, we have appended a Nomination Letter that Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers put forth for a “British Columbia Community Achievement Award.” This nomination was supported with letters from Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek, MLA Michelle Stilwell, Minister of the Environment, Mary Polak, and Craig Wightman of the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

These awards had not been granted at the time of Faye’s passing, and cannot be awarded posthumously. She would have been a very deserving recipient.

Nomination Letter – Faye Smith
British Columbia Community Achievement Award

Faye Smith of Qualicum Beach is arguably the most recognized and most loved advocate for the environment generally and salmon habitat specifically in the neighbouring communities of Qualicum Beach and Parksville.

Since her return to the region in 1980, Faye has been the catalyst for the creation of new organizations, an inspirational force for the protection of the environment, an advocate for salmon habitat protection and enhancement, and a highly visible and effective voice in public fora.

Faye brings a positive, science based, quietly determined approach to all her work. She has an amazing capacity for getting things done and organizing projects - she may no longer be the one climbing into riverbeds to plant trees, but she has been able to inspire generations of volunteers to devote time and energy to the same goals. She is able to communicate effectively with elected officials and government staff, to work with media outlets to get her message out, and to make the case for multi sourced funding to enable projects to move ahead.

Her many years of dedicated and constant environmental advocacy have left Faye with an impressive array of knowledge and contacts – if anyone wants to know who to contact or what the history of an issue has been, Faye is the one to turn to. Her name opens doors, due to her hard earned respect and indeed admiration of many. Among Faye’s accomplishments are:

  • A founding member of the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers Society, of which she has been an active and valued Board member since the society’s inception in 1995

  • Project Coordinator for the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society from 1999 to present

  • Key organizer of the project planning and financing for the removal of the Whiskey Creek Dam, a major barrier to salmon spawning in 1997, opening up approximately 25 km of salmon habitat

  • Key organizer and fundraiser for the restoration of fish access (1997/1998) and habitat improvement (1997-present) on Beach and Grandon Creek in Qualicum Beach.

  • Coordinator of the Central Island Fisheries Renewal Program between 1999 and 2002

  • Coordinator of the Englishman River Watershed Recovery Plan between 2001 and 2015,

These projects involved protecting, monitoring, and restoring the streams and shores in the Parksville-Qualicum area.

Her involvement with her stewardship partners has been integral to public information and education projects such as Salmon Friendly Lawns, RDN Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program and Automotive Stewardship to educate the public about smart environmental choices.

Faye's many years of developing and coordinating the popular Junior Streamkeepers workshops has educated hundreds of children through a hands on understanding of nature.

Faye has also been a member of many advisory boards and committees over the 35 years of living in Qualicum Beach, ( i.e The Town of Qualicum Beach advisory planning committee, Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB).

Her dedication to long hours on these committees has made her name synonymous with everything environmental in the area. Hers is the name everyone knows when it comes to environmental issues; because she gets it done, respectfully with everyone involved.

Faye Smith is likely the first person that would be named if you asked for help about the environment to the mayors, councillors, planners, public works supervisors, engineers, foresters, educators, and biologists of the Parksville/Qualicum area.

Her awards and recognition include:

  • 2010 Town of Qualicum Beach Volunteer of the Year

  • 2010 Fisheries and Oceans Canada Recognition Award

  • 2014 Ducks Unlimited Certificate of Recognition

Faye’s approach and contribution is well summarized in a 2015 editorial in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News which stated in an editorial headlined “Protecting Fish habitat in urban areas challenging” that “Smith’s style and grace is another asset for MVIHES…Smith, like other smart people who are truly working to improve our environment, relies on experts and science. And history. And she reports the good as well as the bad”.