Citizen Science Investigation on East False Creek Reveals Flowing Pipes

 

Led by our Swimmable Water Specialist, Julie Porter, Fraser Riverkeeper’s Citizen Science Team has been conducting water sampling at several points within False Creek to establish baseline data on recreational water quality and identify pollution hot-spots in downtown Vancouver’s most centralized water body. A report of our findings from this summer is coming out this Fall.

 

 

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Fraser Riverkeeper's Recommendations for a Swimmable Vancouver

Vancouver is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of making False Creek, the heart of downtown, swimmable. This possibility is not only desirable, it’s doable. We can build on the momentum of other major cities that have successfully made once-polluted urban waterways swimmable. Most notably, and remarkably, Paris has opened its once-polluted Canal to swimmers this summer. Chicago, Washington and Boston are all actively working to make formerly garbage-laden and polluted urban waterways safe and clean for public swimming. While the Clean Water Act in the US has been the catalyst for clean-ups in most American cities, we all share this truth: our cities and citizens are passionate about having clean, living rivers flowing through their downtowns.

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Celebrating our connection with the coast at Britannia Shipyards

Richmond News, Paula Carlson - July 20, 2017

Newest exhibit at Britannia Shipyards showcases city’s fishing heritage and ocean sustainability

Brooke Lees, curator of Our Coastal Connections, a new exhibit at Britannia Shipyards, emphasizes the educational aspect of the maritime display. Photo by Joel Baziuk.

 

 

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Sayonara, Sockeye Salmon

 

 

School’s out and the summer is just beginning for many, but the sockeye salmon migration season has ended for the Salmon Early Marine Survival Program (SEMSP).

 

 

 

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Connecting People through Water

“Without good water we don’t have a good quality of life”

BC's rivers, lakes and coastline are an integral part of our lives on the west coast. Watching people paddling under the setting sun at MEC Big Chop; hearing people's powerful memories on the water at beach-clean ups; and being involved in Our Water BC during the provincial election has made us realize how deeply passionate people are about water--our life source. At Fraser Riverkeeper, we believe that a swimmable, drinkable, and fishable future begins with community. When citizens are engaged on local water issues and have the resources and tools in order to take action, boil water, swimming and fishing advisories will be things of the past. 

 

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Burger, Beer, and a Movie


Jack_with_Mystic_photo_(1).jpgFree range grass fed beef burgers, cold craft beer, Jack Johnson and an amazing cause -- what’s not to love? FarmFolk CityFolk and Fraser Riverkeeper, two Vancouver-based non-profits hand-picked by Jack Johnson’s All At Once Social Action Network, recently teamed up for a public screening of The Smog of the Sea. The documentary is directed by Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Ian Cheney (King Corn, The City Dark, The Search for General Tso).

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BREAKING: Vancouverites deserve real-time sewage reporting, now: Fraser Riverkeeper launches #SwimmableVancouver campaign

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June 27, 2017 –

 

VANCOUVER – Fraser Riverkeeper has launched a campaign demanding for real-time reporting and public transparency on raw sewage discharges into Vancouver’s waterways. The launch of the Swimmable Vancouver campaign coincides with the release of Swim Drink Fish Canada’s Canada Beach Report, the first-ever comparative study of Canadian recreational water quality.

The report finds that with few exceptions, provinces and territories do not notify the public in the event of a sewage bypass that could increase contamination of recreational waters.

It also reveals that most provinces and territories do not issue rain advisories to recreational water users to ensure that they avoid contact with contaminated water. 

According to Swim Guide, a free water quality app provided by Swim Drink Fish Canada, recreationalists should stay out of urban waters for at least 48 hours following a heavy rainfall event. This is because rainwater picks up oil, heavy metals, fertilizers, litter and other pollutants as it flows through our streets and into the storm drains. 

In Vancouver, many of these storm drains are connected to sewer systems. During heavy rainfalls, the raw sewage and pollutants overwhelm barriers intended to direct contaminated water into waste water treatment plants. Instead, the toxic water overflows into the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River, untreated. 

In 2014, Metro Vancouver pled guilty to a violation of Section 36 of the Fisheries Act due to a release of untreated sewage into the Burrard Inlet at Brockton Point.

“We’re thrilled that the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Parks Board are taking action to improve water quality and restore fish habitat”, said Lauren Hornor, Fraser Riverkeeper’s Executive Director. 

“However, as we work collectively to clean up our waters, the public needs to know when a sewage overflow or bypass has occurred in real time -- not in a yearly report that won’t be released for months.”

Riverkeeper’s Swimmable Vancouver campaign urges Mayor Gregor Robertson to work with City engineers to provide real-time reporting on sewage discharges and bypasses into the Burrard Inlet -- including False Creek -- and the Fraser River. 

In May of this year, the City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston launched the first real-time sewage overflow tracking system in Canada.  The City of Toronto is now also issuing sewage bypass alerts.

To show your support of the Swimmable Vancouver campaign, Fraser Riverkeeper encourages the public to send a letter via our Swimmable Vancouver campaign page. By the end of the summer, the organization hopes to have 10,000 letters sent to decision makers.

For more information on the Canada Beach Report, please contact Swim Guide Manager Gabrielle Parent-Doliner: gabrielle@theswimguide.org

  

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Media Inquiries:

Lauren Hornor

Executive Director,

Fraser Riverkeeper

E: lauren@fraserriverkeeper.ca

P: 604.674.7444

 

Charly Caproff

Water Literacy Coordinator,

Fraser Riverkeeper

E: charly@fraserriverkeeper.ca

P: 778.868.2583

 

Matt Chisholm

Swim Drink Fish Community Coordinator,

Swim Drink Fish Canada

E: mattc@waterkeeper.ca

P: 416.861.1237

 

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Job Posting: Watermark Outreach Coordinator

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Join the Team at Fraser Riverkeeper!

Fraser Riverkeeper is seeking a Watermark Outreach Coordinator for a full-time, 9-week contract. This position is a perfect opportunity for someone passionate about protecting Canadian waters and eager to engage with the community.

ABOUT FRASER RIVERKEEPER

Fraser Riverkeeper (FRK) is a non-profit registered charity, and a proud member of Canada’s Swim Drink Fish community. Based in Vancouver, FRK was first incorporated in 2004 and officially launched in 2007 by Executive Director Lauren Hornor with the leadership of environmental advocate and legendary trail-blazing prosecutor, the late Doug Chapman. Our programs bring together law, science, digital media, and culture to empower residents of the Fraser River watershed and coastal B.C. We provide tools for water literacy and leadership, enabling local citizens to restore polluted places, protect human health, and promote swimmable, fishable, drinkable water.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: VANCOUVER WATERMARK OUTREACH COORDINATOR

9 week full-time contract, 35 hours/week

Do you love to interview people and engage with the public at community events? This might be the job for you.

Fraser Riverkeeper works alongside Swim Drink Fish Canada to foster a growing movement of active, informed and engaged water leaders across Canada. We accomplish this by using law, research, citizen engagement, and digital media tools, such as the Watermark Project.

The Watermark Project gathers and publishes people’s stories about a body of water that has influenced their lives. It documents the way that water affects people, records valuable local knowledge, and inspires participants to become better stewards of their local waters. This position is a perfect opportunity for someone who is inspired by the idea that real stories from ordinary people can help to shape and protect our water heritage.

Watermark Outreach Coordinator responsibilities:

As Watermark Outreach Coordinator you will represent Fraser Riverkeeper at water-related events throughout Metro Vancouver and across the watershed, collecting water stories from community members as part of the Watermark Project. You will support Fraser Riverkeeper's recreational water protection programs and build connections with people, groups, and businesses who use and love BC’s Waterways. You will be responsible for helping to cultivate a strong Watermark social media presence in Vancouver and encouraging others to collect water stories. We’re looking for someone who is passionate about water with a natural ability to connect with the public on a personal level.

Additionally, you will also help staff plan and execute a family-friendly water-based event to celebrate our 10-year anniversary in late August. The event will be held at a Vancouver sailing club and you will be responsible for planning youth-friendly activities; coordinating a large BBQ; managing volunteers; finding creative ways to promote the event to the public; and other related tasks.

Our work is focused in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, so extra emphasis will be placed on activities that strengthen the region's community of recreational water users and promote our recreational waters locally.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Delight booth and table attendees at events with information about BC waters and its threats.
  • Collect personal water stories, or "Watermarks" from community members across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser River watershed.
  • Training others to collect Watermark stories. Engage citizens, organizations, and businesses in issues related to recreational water quality.
  • Identify and help arrange summer tabling/engagement opportunities.
  • Attend and table at scheduled events from late June to August (evenings and weekends required).
  • Act as an in-person ambassador for Fraser Riverkeeper and the Watermark Project.
  • Provide on-site and “from the field” pictures and videos for our social media profiles.
  • Ability to plan and execute engagement strategies to maintain relationships with project participants over time.
  • Coordinate, organize and promote our Water Literacy public event in August, paying attention to detail and making sure it’s a success! 

You are an ideal candidate for this position if:

  • You would love to spend your summer talking to the community and sharing their important water stories.
  • You are interested in recreational water quality issues.
  • You have a great work ethic and are able to accomplish tasks on time and independently.
  • It’s important to you to help people understand how recreational water activities can impact their health, both positively and negatively.
  • You are articulate and outgoing.
  • You are happy and able to work evenings and weekends when required for public events.
  • You are organized and motivated You love spending time on the Fraser River and Vancouver waterfront (swimming, paddling, sailing, fishing, etc).
  • You are willing to learn how to use Salesforce CRM software.
  • You have a proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • You have strong Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram skills.
  • You have a full, valid Class 5 license (access to a vehicle is a bonus but not required).
  • You’re based in Metro Vancouver.

Our funding requires that you are returning to school in September 2017 and are under the age of 30.

To Apply:

Each application must include 1 copy of the following documents:

  • A cover letter that describes why you would make a great Watermark Outreach Coordinator (Note: This is our favourite part of the application - we look for style, personality, spelling, grammar, and your perspective on the job description.)
  • Your resumé.
  • Names and contact information for two references.

Please submit your application as soon as possible to:

Charly Caproff

charly@fraserriverkeeper.ca

Re: Watermark Outreach Coordinator Position

Apply by June 28th, 2017; applications will be reviewed as they arrive.

Sorry, but we can only respond to those candidates selected for an interview.

Fraser Riverkeeper is committed to having a skilled, diversified workforce reflective of the Vancouver community, and to the equitable representation of women, aboriginal peoples, and members of a visible minority group.

Other Information: Hours: 35 hours/week. Must be available some evenings and weekends.

Location: Based in Vancouver with possible travel to other communities on the BC coast and within the Fraser River watershed.

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Saving the Pacific Salmon

Guest blogger Griffin Kelly shares her research and stories from the rugged west coast. She's currently exploring the impact of aquaculture on community in the Broughton Archipelago.

Salmon Coast was founded by biologist Alexandra Morton, who first noticed the influx of sea lice into the environment. Wild salmon pick up lice during their time in the open ocean. Farms are infected by wild salmon during the in-migration to rivers. Adult salmon return to the rivers to spawn, and then die off. The lice die off with them. However, fish farms act as incubators for sea lice over the winter; the lice remain in the system because they have constant, static hosts. When juvenile salmon emerge from rivers in the spring into the ocean, they are exposed to sea lice at an unnaturally early stage (Marty 2010). This can result in harmful effects on juvenile wild salmon populations (Krkošek 2017.)

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Burdwoods farm

Salmon Coast carries out the longest-running juvenile salmon monitoring program, which is in its 17th year. Each week, we go out and take samples of juvenile salmon from three sites adjacent to fish farms. The sites are Wicklow, in Fife Sound, Glacier, in Tribune Channel, and Burdwoods, in the Burdwood Group islands. This is an important chance for us to interact with the salmon at various stages in their growth cycle; at the beginning of the season the parr are only 30mm long, and by June, the smolts are larger than 100mm.

We set beach seine nets to collect 100 fish at each site, 50 pink salmon and 50 chum salmon. Pink and chum salmon school together, and are the most prevalent species in this area. These fish are placed in plastic bags with seawater in order to be measured and examined. Counts of lice per fish are recorded, along with observations of other factors, such as environmental stressors. The salmon are released back into the ocean. This process is continued for the duration of the salmon run, starting in early April and ending late June. On May 4th, we visited the usual sites, and were joined by Alex Morton, as she conducted her own sampling.

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Collected salmon await examination.

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A salmon is measured by a volunteer.

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Examining a chum salmon for sea lice with a hand lens.

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This independent data set is a crucial tool to demonstrate the measured and changing effects of sea lice and aquaculture on wild salmon. It has been used in multiple papers and reports by researchers since 2001. The weekly monitoring program is a collaborative effort, as it relies on volunteers, researchers and community members, including members from the local First Nations.

 

  1. Krkošek, Martin. "Population biology of infectious diseases shared by wild and farmed fish." Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 74.4 (2017): 620-28. Web.
  2. Marty, G. D., S. M. Saksida, and T. J. Quinn. "Relationship of Farm Salmon, Sea Lice, and Wild Salmon Populations." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.52 (2010): 22599-2604. Web.
  3. Schreiber, Dorothee, and Dianne Newell. "Negotiating TEK in BC Salmon Farming: Learning from Each Other or Managing Tradition and Eliminating Contention?." BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly 150 (2006): 1-17.

 

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PRIZE GIVEAWAY: Free Jack Johnson concert tickets!

PRIZE GIVEAWAY: Free Jack Johnson concert tickets!

JJ_2017_MarineDebris_Square.jpgWe’re excited to announce that we’ll be joining Jack Johnson at his concert on July 23rd, 2017, providing you with ways to get inspired and take action in creating a sustainable future.

 

A former professional surfer, Johnson is now a Billboard charting artist (his first five major-label albums crested platinum status), respected documentary filmmaker and environmental advocate. 

 

100% of Jack Johnson’s 2008 tour profits were used to establish the Johnson Ohana Foundation, a non-profit charity founded by Kim and Jack Johnson to support environmental, art, and music education.

  

We’re extremely proud to be a continuing partner of All At Once since the launch of this initiative in 2008.

Jack Johnson has generously provided two FREE tickets for fans – all you have to do is sign-up to help volunteer at the event with Fraser Riverkeeper! The first two people to sign-up will win!

 

 

 

 

Email the Fraser Riverkeeper team NOW to get your free tickets today! 

E: info@fraserriverkeeper.ca

For more information about Jack Johnson and All At Once please visit  JackJohnsonMusic.com and www.AllAtOnce.org. To view Jack Johnson’s Smog of the Sea documentary trailer, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/2nVJO7Q

 

 

Concert Details:

 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Deer Lake Park

6450 Deer Lake Ave. Burnaby, BC V5H 4R4

Doors Open: 5:00pm

Support Act – John Craigie: 6:30pm

Jack Johnson set: 7:45pm

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