City chosen for Natural Capital pilot study


Buttertubs Marsh will be the site of a new pilot study on managing natural capital in our community.

Natural capital refers to our planet's stock of water, air, land, renewable and non-renewable resources. Similar to how economic capital provides a flow of goods and services, elements of natural capital work together to provide humans and other species with goods and services that are wide-ranging and diverse.

The City of Nanaimo has been chosen as one of five communities across the country for a Municipal Natural Capital Initiative Study. The objective of holding the study in Nanaimo and the other selected communities is to test and refine the approach within a local government setting. The pilot program is expected to kick off with community workshops in August 2016 and is expected to wrap up December 2017.

Link to Strategic Plan: Environmental Responsibility

Key Points

  • The Municipal Natural Capital Initiative is organized through the following partners: The Town of Gibsons, The David Suzuki Foundation, Sustainable Prosperity, Asset Management BC and Brooke and Associates.
  • The Nanaimo pilot study will focus on the value of the stormwater service provided by the Buttertubs Marsh Complex.
  • The study will look at ways to apply measurement and management methods used in asset and financial management practices to conserve and enhance natural capital.
  • At the April 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, Nanaimo City Council approved funding for a pilot study to be undertaken on the City's natural capital.


"Buttertubs Marsh is an ecologically important wetland within the City that provides a refuge for wildlife and for many residents seeking the opportunity to view and appreciate the natural world. Now through the MNCI, we can more fully understand the financial value these spaces provide the community as stormwater treatment and flood control assets."

Environmental Planner
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • The Buttertubs Marsh Complex is co-owned and managed by the City of Nanaimo, the Nature Trust of British Columbia and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
  • The City of Nanaimo was chosen along with the City of Grand Forks, District of West Vancouver, Region of Peel in Ontario and Town of Oakville in Ontario.


Rob Lawrance
Environmental Planner
City of Nanaimo
Roy Brooke
National Coordinator - Municipal Natural Capital Initiative
Brookes and Associates

Print News Release

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.
Collection and use of your personal information

Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA. Questions about the collection of your personal information may be referred to the Legislative Services Department at 250-755-4405, or via email at Please also see our Privacy Policy.