Earth Day: What’s in your waterways?

Vancouver Courier, Kelsey Klassen and Sarah Ripplinger - April 20, 2017

Marine experts take the pulse of the region’s most iconic bodies of water

Fraser Riverkeeper Society coordinator Charly Caproff stands near a combined sewer outfall on the Fraser River. (Photograph By DAN TOULGOET PHOTO)
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Remembering Our Founding Riverkeeper: Doug Chapman

Doug.jpgToday we celebrate the life of a true water protector, legendary prosecutor of polluters, and dear friend: Doug Chapman, our founding Riverkeeper, born April 8th, 1936.

Doug Chapman dedicated his life to protecting swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. As a young lawyer, he sailed the Great Lakes and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He also fished Pacific salmon for a living in the late 1970’s and had been part of the early environmental movement fighting nuclear power, declining fish stocks, and increased pressures from pollution.

Doug was one of Canada’s most experienced environmental prosecutors, with numerous high-profile convictions in Ontario, including the first ever jail-sentence for an environmental criminal in Canada - this groundbreaking case against George Crowe of Bata Shoes was won in 1992.

He is survived by his loving partner Carol McDonald, who has been a part of Fraser Riverkeeper from the very beginning as our Secretary/Treasurer, and was recently nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the field of Environmental Sustainability.

His legacy lives on as people continue to restore and protect swimmable, drinkable, fishable water across Canada.

In honour of Doug on his birthday, and of Fraser Riverkeeper's upcoming 10th Anniversary, we'd like to take a moment to look back on these words, written by Fraser Riverkeeper President Mark Mattson, for our very first newsletter back in October 2007. They serve as a fitting testament to Doug's incredible life and legacy.

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"We want to preserve what we've got here": Chilliwack community out in force to clean up Fraser River shores

The Vancouver Sun, Glenda Luymes - March 19, 2017

Ross Aikenhead’s pickup truck rumbles up the river bank and stops in front of a huge garbage bin. As rain falls in sheets from a grey sky that’s almost indistinguishable from the Fraser River a few metres away, he lowers his tailgate to unload soiled carpets, broken pallets and several bags of trash.

Volunteers clean up garbage on the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack as part of the 10th annual Fraser River Clean Up. GLENDA LUYMES / PNG

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Metro Vancouver's Making its Watermark

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.  

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Photo: Sama093

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’.

Fraser River. Photo: Charly Caproff

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!

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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 Gala Vancouver 2016

 

BC Business, Paul Duchart - October 25, 2016

Almost 200 guests and business leaders attended the second annual Waterkeeper Gala Vancouver at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia October 13. Presented by Telus, the event raised a record $200,000, double the amount raised last year.

Photo courtesy of Paul Duchart

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Fred Lee's Social Network: Waterkeeper Gala taps into record night of donations; MOSAIC marks 40 years of building bridges

The Province, Fred Lee - October 23, 2016

Canada's foremost charity fundraiser for clean water drew 200 prominent artists, musicians and philanthropists to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia for the sophomore running of the Waterkeeper Gala, presented by Telus. Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard, right, escorted girlfriend Rebekah Asselstine to the sold-out dinner. Fred Lee/ Postmedia News

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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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Fred UnLEEshed: Oct. 20, 2016

Vancouver Courier, Fred Lee - October 20, 2016

Ignacio Arrieta and Marcelo Ramirez, owners of La Mezcaleria and La Taqueria, and Manuel Otero, president of the Mexican Business Association of Canada, celebrated the official launch of La Mezcaleria’s second storefront in Gastown.



 

 

 

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