Last Friday, the Fraser Riverkeeper team left our cozy office, pulled on some warm layers, and headed to the confluence of the Fraser and Harrison rivers. We were off on an adventure to reconnect with these powerful waters.
Months after hot summer days at the beach have come to an end, Vancouver Water Monitoring Coordinator, Katie Moore, and our team of volunteers continue to head out on Thursday mornings to monitor the recreational water quality in Vancouver’s False Creek. But why do we sample year-round, through the coldest months of the year?
If you are anything like me you may sometimes feel overwhelmed and somewhat pessimistic about the current trajectory of the world and our environment. Personally, when I read the recent reports by The UN stating that we have 11 years left to prevent irreversible climate change1, and the findings on the accelerating rate of global biodiversity loss2 I feel an increasing sense of “climate anxiety.”
I grew up on the shores of Lake Ontario. In my years in there, and now in Vancouver, I have never had to think twice about how to access clean, fresh water. Especially here in Vancouver, where it rains on average 169 days in the year, I sometimes catch myself mindlessly using far more water than necessary. I’ve been guilty of thinking that exact thought, “It poured all day today, I’m not doing any harm by showering an extra 5 minutes...right?”
At Swim Drink Fish, we are on a mission to connect people to water. We know that when people are connected to their local waters, they are more likely to step forward and protect them. We seek to connect people of all walks of life to the waters that flow through their communities, have left an impact on their lives, and support complex ecosystems. As we reflect on our year of growth, we are humbled by the relationships we have built to achieve this goal.
Six new ambassadors joined the Swim Drink Fish family in September at our Swim Drink Fish Gala Vancouver 2019. The “Swim Drink Fish Ambassadors” were formally recognized and welcomed to the circle by two of our previous ambassadors, Kevin Lowe and Karen Percy Lowe. We are grateful for their work and dedication to our natural world and we are excited to celebrate them.
I am so very pleased to join the Fraser Riverkeeper team here in Vancouver as the new Program Manager. My predecessor, Molly O’Ray, has left some exceptionally large shoes to fill, but I am beyond thrilled to continue her work building a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future across Western Canada.
Our summer at Swim Drink Fish was rich with some amazing experiences shared with some even more amazing people! We love having volunteers groups come explore their appreciation of water, develop their water literacy, and get involved as citizen scientists.
As Swim Drink Fish has grown and evolved over the years, artists have become guides for exploring our vision of a world where communities can swim in their local waters without risking their health, drink the water flowing from their taps without fear of illness, and where fish and wildlife thrive and prosper in their natural environment.