Job Posting: Swimmable Water Specialist


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.


As Swimmable Water Specialist 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 assist with launching a local water quality testing program and disseminate vital information about recreational water quality to Vancouver-area communities. Additionally, you will be responsible for keeping our Swim Guide app and website up to date with current water quality as well as sampling and testing as necessary. And, finally, 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.

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.

This is a four month, full time position beginning in mid-May. Please apply ASAP.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Collect water samples for analysis in the field;
  • Prepare test solutions and process water samples;

  • Calibrate and maintain testing equipment;

  • Analyze and interpret results, producing monthly reports to be presented to a non-scientific audience;
  • Connect and share water quality information with stakeholders impacted by recreational water quality across BC.
  • Engage citizens, organizations, and businesses in issues related to recreational water quality;
  • Delight booth and table attendees at events from mid-June to September (evenings and weekends required) with information about the Fraser River and its watershed;
  • Act as an in-person ambassador for Fraser Riverkeeper, Swim Guide, and the Watermark Project;
  • Provide on-site and from the field pictures and videos for our social media profiles;
  • Update Swim Guide in the morning, seven days a week, to provide thousands of people with up-to-date beach water quality information in BC;
  • Collect personal water stories, or "Watermarks" from community members across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser River watershed.

You are an ideal candidate for this position if:

  • You are a current student or recent graduate of one of the following post-secondary programs (or equivalent): Environmental Science, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences and Pure and Applied Sciences.
  • You have experience testing and monitoring fresh and marine waterbodies, making certain water is safe for recreational and drinking purposes.
  • You are well-versed on urban water issues pertaining to sewage, storm water run-off, and the health issues related to contaminated water.
  • You would love to spend your summer talking to the community about swimmable water.
  • 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 love spending time on the Fraser River and Vancouver waterfront (swimming, paddling, sailing, fishing, etc)
  • You have a working knowledge of GIS and are comfortable using Excel spreadsheets.
  • 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 licence (access to a vehicle is a bonus but not required).
  • You’re based in Metro Vancouver. 

To Apply:

Each application must include 1 copy of the following documents:

  • A cover letter that describes why you would make a great Swimmable Water Specialist (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

Re: Swimmable Water Specialist Position


The position is available mid-May and 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 Metro Vancouver, and to the equitable representation of women, aboriginal peoples, and members of a visible minority group.

Other Information:

This position is a 4-month contract at a salary of $2,500/month, minus taxes and liabilities, with a possibility of extension depending on available funding.

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

Start and End Date: mid May - September 31, 2017.

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


Add your reaction Share

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)
Read more
Add your reaction Share

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.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

"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

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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.  


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!

Read more
1 reaction Share

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.

Read more
1 reaction Share

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


Read more
Add your reaction Share

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

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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!


Read more
Add your reaction Share