My Watermark: rock climbing next to Cheakamus River

Posted by · July 09, 2015 at 11:33 AM

 

WHO I AM

Ly_Golden_Ears.jpgMy name is Ly and I’m the Summer Outreach Coordinator at Fraser Riverkeeper Society. Coming from Vietnam to Canada five years ago, I was very glad that my journey with the water continued. Beaches remind me of childhood summer trips, of the time when my family went swimming, eating fresh seafood and chilling on the beach. As an outdoor enthusiast, I love kayaking in the water or hiking the mountains, and of course eating delicious wild salmon that comes from beautiful B.C rivers. The wilderness, including the water bodies, is what connects me with the people that I love to spend time with.

 

MY MOST POWERFUL MEMORY OF WATER

This year I started my summer adventure with rock climbing via a weekend trip organized by the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club. The experienced fellows took me to the Star Chek route, a beginner friendly route with stunning views of both the mountains and the river. It was an 80-meter high cliff by the beautiful Cheakamus River in the Squamish region. We went on a low tide day, when the strong current revealed a perfect blend between white bubbles and shiny black rocks. It was magnificent. While climbing I didn’t forget to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of the Cheakamus River. What an unforgettable experience. The climbing wouldn’t be as special without the beautiful river flowing below. It was one of my most favorite trips yet.

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MY CONCERN FOR THE WATER

I spend a lot of time in the summer relaxing at the beach and looking over beautiful waterways from mountain tops. Hearing about the various types of pollution that affect our waterways makes me sad. From sewage leaks, to an oil spill, to witnessing all the garbage removed by our Shore Patrol team, I'm more motivated than ever to make a change. When I saw the bacteria levels in False Creek surpassed 1000 E.coli/100ml (which means it’s unsafe for paddling) I worried that recreational water users would lose their connection with that water body. Water is important to me, and to many other people. Therefore I believe that everyone should work together to protect our waterways, for many years to come.  

WHAT I'M DOING TO PROTECT THE WATER

As a Summer Outreach Coordinator at Fraser Riverkeeper, I advocate for swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water at community events. Fraser Riverkeeper participates in summer events such as MEC's Big Chop Paddle Series, the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, and MEC Paddlefest, where we get to talk to many people about the various ways they use our waterways. It’s a community that has a love for the water and is dedicated to the protection of it. To foster this community, I inform them about water quality issues and ways they can help to protect the local waterways. In return I get to hear splendid stories from the paddlers, the swimmers, and the boaters, about their adventures in the water.

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 THE WATERMARK PROJECT

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The Watermark Project is a new effort by the National Water Centre to collect and share Canadian Watermarks - all 35 million of them. Watermarks will be stored and shared in a digital archive, creating a permanent, searchable, and ever-changing record of the relationship between Canadians and their waters. 

During the pilot phase in 2015, partner organizations including Fraser Riverkeeper and Ottawa Riverkeeper will collect a series of Watermarks to help seed the archive when it launches. These early Watermarks will also be used at events and online to promote discussion about water in Canada.

WHAT IS A WATERMARK?

Every Canadian has a relationship with water. This connection to water is like a birthmark: it's unique, yet we each have one. It's also your Watermark.

A Watermark is a story about you and a body of water. Whatever your story may be, your Watermark shows how you are part of our collective water heritage. 

I'm looking forward to hearing your Watermark too!


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