Metro Vancouver, flanked by the emerald green Coastal Mountain Range and at the foot of the vast Pacific Ocean, is recognized as one of the most livable regions in the world. While we celebrate diversity living in a cultural mosaic, we are all connected by an essential natural resource – water.
The churning, wild white waters of the Fraser River barrel through the narrow, craggy slopes of the Fraser Canyon, dragging stray logs and boulders in its wake. Communities in Metro Vancouver are centered around the Lower Fraser, affectionately known as the ‘Heart of the Fraser’.
From my house in Maple Ridge, I can hear the laughter of families camping on the shores of Derby Reach, see tug boats puffing up and down the river and feel the power of bald eagles as they swoop down to snatch salmon from the silt-rich waters.
Vancouver, a water metropolis, offers recreationalists endless opportunities to explore and enjoy scenic beaches, lakes and creeks.
We love how passionate people are about their water in Metro Vancouver and are excited to announce the launch of our 2017 Water Literacy Campaign!
This interactive and applied educational program inspires our youth – the future decision-makers and stewards of our world – to reengage with their water.
During the presentations, participants will explore the cultural heritage, ecology and environmental health of their local watershed.
They will become familiar with species endemic to freshwater and marine ecosystems in Metro Vancouver, and be provided with tools that foster continued water engagement and leadership beyond their initial introduction to water literacy.
These tools include the Watermark Project, an online archive of stories that highlight Canadians’ love for water. Every Canadian has a Watermark – a fond memory of a waterbody that has shaped your connection to water in an important and profound way. Here’s an example of a moving water moment shared by our friend, Jeannine Johnstone:
We will also be welcoming youth to join our Swim Drink Fish community and download the Swim Guide App, which has protected 100,000 British Columbians from recreating in polluted waters. This revolutionary app monitors the water quality of more than 7,000 beaches across North America, the Baja Peninsula and New Zealand.
Why Water Literacy?
This program empowers young people to become an essential part of our water future. They come away with not only a deepened sense of appreciation for the abundant flowing waters that breathe life and vibrancy into Metro Vancouver, but also the ability to recognize threats to their favourite waterbody and immediately know who to contact.
They will be joining a growing community of water enthusiasts who are creating a future where “no swimming” signs, boil water advisories, and fish consumption bans are things of the past.
Invite us to Present at your School or Community Event
Our new Water Literacy Coordinator, Charly Caproff, is excited to begin building meaningful relationships with your community and to develop water literate hubs throughout Metro Vancouver. If your classroom, organization or community is interested in receiving a water literacy presentation catered to your specific area and interests, please contact Charly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (778) 868 2583.
Currently, Charly is reaching out to various recreation and environmental organizations in Metro Vancouver to learn about how the people interact with their water and their specific interests. She would be happy to visit your local waterbody at your convenience!
Here’s to a swimmable, drinkable and fishable 2017 Metro Vancouver!
Photo: Anika ES