Tennent Lake: A Watermark by Mike Knippel

10477140_10153356867196628_8170813601092832877_o.jpgI had started this hiking hobby about 4 years previous and it had grown naturally into sub alpine day adventures, then alpine multi day treks with some not-too-technical peaking. I knew I loved it and sort of knew why but never fully understood how it connected with the rest of my life. I had spent the previous 30 years on the world's oceans and now that seagoing days were over, my time was filled with fine views and ambience of Vancouver Island coasts and alpine. Around Canada Day, 2015, during a climb of Mt. Myra, the missing piece came into view.

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Walbran Creek: A Watermark from Charly Caproff

The Walbran Valley is a Tolkien novel brought to life. 

Magnificent old-growth trees shrouded in lush moss thrive on the steep east and west valley faces. Below, the pristine Walbran Creek flows through the temperate rainforest, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. 

The Walbran Creek bridge was ground zero during the 'War of the Woods' in the 1990’s and is a place where activists, recreationalists and tourists alike stand in awe of the immense beauty of this wild, untamed world. Logging on the sheer slopes directly above the Walbran River increases the risk of soil erosion, leading to sedimentation and turbidity in the waters below. These waters are teeming with several species of fish, including coastal cutthroat and rainbow trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and coho salmon. 

During the fall, endangered Sockeye salmon were spotted in a pool below a magnificent waterfall, which attracted the interest of fisheries biologists to the Walbran. While the old-growth forests downstream are protected within the Walbran/Carmanah Provincial Park, the Walbran Valley remains vulnerable to the potential impacts of commercial logging. 

It was here, watching the water tumble beneath my feet, that I realized that water knows no bounds. Environmental policy must incorporate an ecosystem-based approach to managing our precious water resources.

 

Photo credit: Shane Johnson

 

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Waterkeeper: A Film by Tim Thompson

Thank you again to our sponsors and guests for being part of the Swim Drink Fish Community and for helping us to make this year's 2nd annual Waterkeeper Gala Vancouver our best yet!

 

If you want to relive the magic of the night - or share it with your friends - Tim Thompson's powerful film 'Waterkeeper' is now available for viewing online. Watch it below!

 

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A Big Night for Water: Musicians, Artists and Canadian Leaders Gather for Second Annual Waterkeeper Gala presented by TELUS

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Acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky to anchor charity gala in Vancouver on October 13 to raise funds for Swim Drink Fish Canada and B.C.'s Fraser Riverkeeper

TELUS Talks speaker series to be hosted at TELUS Garden on October 12 in support of Gala

 

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- Oct. 6, 2016 - Award-winning Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky will present the keynote remarks at the second annual Waterkeeper Gala Vancouver presented by TELUS on Thursday, October 13, 2016.

The Gala intends to raise funds to support innovative programs that protect "swimmable, drinkable, fishable" waters for everyone, including Swim GuideWatermark Project, and Water Literacy.

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Best and Worst Beaches of Summer 2016

JesseSampleBlog.jpg While swimmers and paddlers can be found plying BC's waters year-round, the end of the Labour Day weekend marks the end of swimmable water season for most of Canada. As the days are getting longer with Fall fast approaching, Fraser Riverkeeper and Swim Guide are taking a look back at some of the best and worst beaches of the 2016 swimming season, from May 20th to September 6th.

The best beaches of 2016 by region were:

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What Gord Downie Taught Me (and the Swim Drink Fish Community)

Tonight, the Tragically Hip will be taking the stage at Roger's Arena for their final performance in Vancouver. In honour of Gord Downie and his tremendous leadership in the Canadian Swim Drink Fish community, we are sharing this heartfelt post from Fraser Riverkeeper's President and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Mark Mattson (originally posted July 22, 2016).

My friend Gord Downie is sick. Gord is someone I have known for over 30 years. Someone who supported my decision to quit the law to become a Waterkeeper. Someone who gave Waterkeeper's Swim Drink Fish vision meaning and force in Canada.

It’s been 8 months since he found out. Tonight he continues to fight his illness by taking the stage to sing again. And with that, he will start the healing for his friends and fans as well. It's what he does.

For many months, Gord and his family have struggled with trips to the hospital, doctors offices, drug stores. And quietly explaining to friends and neighbours what is going on. Not easy. Add to it, the public announcement of “terminal brain cancer” a couple months ago - and everything went to another level.

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Lake Temagami - A Watermark by Jesse Kitteridge

In the summer of 2005 I was 13 years old. I was about to leave home on my first canoe trip, which was also the first week I would be away from my parents. I was going on a canoe trip on Lake Temagami, and my friends and I were going to have to plan our whole trip, from the route we took across the lake, down to the really important stuff, like how many chocolate chips we could put in our gorp. We spent 4 days shaping our paddles, drying our food, and preparing meals that would keep for 8 days in our wanigans. We learned how to do a j-stroke, how to tie a tumpline, and how to read a compass and judge distance.

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The Great Bear Rainforest: A Watermark from Joe Daniels

spiritbear.jpg I moved to British Columbia back in the summer of 2010. I had spent three years in Toronto after earning my four-year degree, working for an eco-conscious retailer by day and sumo wrestling at a local dojo by night, when a sort of claustrophobia set in. I guess I'd just grown tired of the hustle and bustle of city life.

Eventually I decided to go back to school and, while researching my options, I stumbled across a listing for an Applied Coastal Ecology program offered at Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert. And so, my father and I loaded all my worldly possessions into the back of his little red truck and drove roughly five thousand kilometers cross-country; following the Trans Canada Highway and the Yellowhead Trail all the way to the North Coast of BC and the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest.

I don't think anything could have prepared me for how profoundly this experience would change my life.

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Introducing Waterkeeper's Swim Drink Fish Ambassadors!


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We're so excited for the Waterkeeper Gala, happening in Toronto Thursday evening!

This year’s Gala will introduce 12 Swim Drink Fish Ambassadors from across Canada. These are individuals who have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to creating a future where every Canadian can swim, drink, and fish. They are leaders who are promoting water literacy and watershed awareness, kick-starting education and protection programs, and building a strong “Swim Drink Fish Community.”

Fraser Riverkeeper is proud to have our executive director included among this inspiring group of water leaders! Meet your BC Swim Drink Fish Ambassador…

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Our 9th Annual River Cleanup was a HUGE Success!


IMG_1458.JPGWe're super proud to announce that on March 19th, over 450 community members came together from across the Lower Fraser Valley to tackle cleanups along a 10 km stretch of the Fraser River. Together, we removed more than 20 tonnes of illegally dumped garbage from community green-spaces and sensitive wilderness areas in the process.

This was far and away our most successful cleanup to date, nearly doubling last year's haul and marking more than 80 tons of garbage removed from the Fraser River and its surrounding backcountry! 

Illegal dumping has been an epidemic problem in the Fraser Valley, threatening the recreational areas and wildlife habitat that we all love to enjoy. Through the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance (FVIDA), we are working year-round to improve this issue. Our work includes education through river cleanup events, reporting incentives, improved signage and general community awareness, all in the effort to help curb the trend of people dumping garbage next to our rivers.

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