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



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!


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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Join us for our 9th Annual Fraser River Cleanup on March 19th!

Fraser Riverkeeper and Woodtone are excited to host our 9th annual Fraser River Cleanup!


Illegally dumped garbage and pollution hurts our ability to access and enjoy our local recreational areas and wildlife habitat. Let's all pitch in to help clean up the green places where we love to fish, ride, relax and play!

When: Saturday March 19th from 10am - 1pm

Who: Everyone is welcome! 

Where: Cleanup HQ located at the end of Gill Rd in Chilliwack

This year's cleanup is registered with the Vancouver Aquarium's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup! Click here to visit the cleanup page.

Please bring a pair of work gloves if you have them and a reusable mug or water bottle for free refreshments!

Safety vests, gloves (for those who need them) garbage bags and buckets will be provided to volunteers at registration. There will be a safety briefing at 10am so please arrive on time.

We will also be hosting a FREE community BBQ on site with hamburgers, hot dogs and a veggie option for all volunteers.

Remember to bring the whole family as we will have the Vancouver Aquarium's AquaZone and Superheroes of Victoria onsite to provide fun and educational programming for volunteers of all ages!

BIG THANK YOU to our sponsors and supporters: Woodtone, First Class-Alpine Valley Disposal, Timbro Contracting, BioCentralthe City of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Water Store, Starbucks, Chilliwack IGA, Restaurant 62The Fraser Valley Salmon Society, The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Great River Fishing AdventuresDouble D's Custom TrucksThe Vancouver Aquarium, and Superheroes of Victoria

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Introducing the Newest Member of FRK

Tina_Watermark_Blog_3.jpgHello and welcome! The New Year has brought plenty of change and excitement for us here at Fraser Riverkeeper. First off, we bid farewell to our well-loved Program and Operations Manager Rachel Schoeler. Second, yours truly started as Rachel’s replacement (with very big shoes to fill indeed!).

For my very first blog post, I thought it fitting to tell you a little about me— and what better way to do that than to share my own Watermark with you! The Watermark Project is a digital archive of the many powerful stories about our relationship to water. Fraser Riverkeeper is working to collect and archive these stories in an effort to highlight the importance of water in our lives and to restore our connection to nature.

Every Canadian has a Watermark, and together with the Swim Drink Fish partnership, our ultimate goal is to collect a water story for every Canadian­— 35 million Watermarks! These stories, we hope, will provide the evidence and impetus for protecting our waterways. I’d like to share my own Watermark with you today, and if you so feel compelled to do the same, click here.

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The Watermark Project is Here!

watermarkblog.jpgFraser Riverkeeper, in partnership with the National Water Centre and Waterkeepers across Canada, is proud to announce the official launch of the Watermark Project!

We often forget how water shapes our country, our culture, our lives. We forget how privileged we are to have access to more freshwater and ocean than arguably any other nation in world. When we forget, we become immune to the loss: the destruction and diminishment of Canada’s swimmable drinkable fishable waters.

As Canadians, we need to sharpen our memory. Our water is more than a necessity for keeping us alive, it is the thread that holds us together as a country. And that thread is best seen in our stories about being on, in or around water.

That is why we created the Watermark Project: to collect and archive Canadian water stories to demonstrate why swimmable drinkable fishable water matters.

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