By Julia Pepler
A new year and new decade bring reflection, new beginnings, and for many, resolutions. Beyond making resolutions for our health and our communities, we’ve come up with three simple changes you can make to help protect our waters.
This is both simple and daunting. Conserving water can mean many different things for many different people. It’s best to first observe your water consumption and find areas in which you can improve.
When we’re able to conserve water we lessen the strain on our natural resources, reduce the energy used to filter and process our water, and help protect the waters that are often used frivolously.
Learn about different ways to conserve water in our blog here.
When you’re down by the water there are two things you can collect to help protect our waters. The first is garbage. It’s so simple and yet so many of us see garbage lying on our beaches without taking action to clean it up. By removing waste from the shores of our rivers, lakes, oceans, and streams, we help reduce microplastics, choking hazards, potentially toxic chemicals, and other risks to the flora and fauna in our waters. You can even take it a step further and plan your own shoreline cleanup this year!
Next, help us collect observations. If you see illegally dumped garbage or waste by the waters that is potentially dangerous or too large for you to remove, say something! With the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance we’ve outlined information on how to report and best practices, which you can find here. Even if you don't see garbage or illegally dumped waste at the beach, you can simply share photographs of various beaches on Swim Guide. These observations help us track and monitor the health of various waterways over time. By collecting beach and environmental observations, you contribute to a web of data that helps us protect the waters we love and cherish.
In our busy lives, it’s easy to fall out of touch with the waters that we fundamentally depend on. But we’ve learned that when we feel connected to our waters we’re more likely to protect them. If you’re not sure where to start, you can find the closest water access point to you on Swim Guide and read about popular beaches, their amenities, and see photographs.
This year, take time to connect with your local waters. Leave distractions behind, sit by the water, play, try something new, and give yourself space and time to appreciate this incredible planet we call home!