The Watermark Project is Here!

Jan 15, 2016

Fraser 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.

Watermark with Rachel Schoeler

Dec 17, 2015

The Watermark Project has officially launched and we couldn't be more excited! The Watermark Project is a community effort to collect and archive true stories about the ways Canadians interact with water. Started by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper in 2015, the Watermark Project aims to collect one story from every Canadian household. 

What's my Watermark? I have had the pleasure of working with Fraser Riverkeeper and connecting with incredible recreational water users, community organizers, water leaders and community members for the past 2.5 years. Luckily for me, working for an organization focused on creating a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future means that I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on or in the water and really connect to my local waterways. But there is one water-filled day in particular that really stands out.

Discharge Permit Issued to Avoid Second Disaster At Mount Polley

Dec 4, 2015

Mount Polley mine and its owners, Imperial Metals Corporation, made international headlines in August of 2014 when the dam containing the mine's tailings storage facility failed, sending millions of cubic meters of mining waste water and potentially toxic sediments surging through Hazeltine Creek and into the Quesnel Lake watershed, a major tributary of the Fraser River.

Now Mount Polley is back in the headlines, with the BC government  granting the mine a license to discharge treated waste water from a pipe located roughly 30-40 meters below the surface of Quesnel Lake. 

Still under investigation by BC Conservation Officers and the RCMP for their role in the worst environmental disaster in modern Canadian history, Mount Polley was granted a permit to begin limited restart of operations in the summer of 2015 using Springer Pit for temporary storage of wet tailings and waste water. However, Springer Pit is nothing more than an unlined pit left over from previous ore extraction. If the height of water and tailings in the pit reach a height of more than 1,030 meters, there is a risk that the toxic elements in the mine waste could seep into the surrounding groundwater. Alarm bells began to sound mid November, as water levels in the pit reached 1,023.5; just 6.5 meters away from critical.

The Ghosts of Hell's Gate

Oct 30, 2015

A whiff of cigar smoke hanging in the corner of an empty restaurant, strange disembodied voices whispering on the wind, the apparition of a lonely little girl wandering the halls of the Upper Terminal; these are just some of strange and ghostly phenomena that have been reported at the Hell's Gate Airtram, rumoured to be one of the Fraser River's most haunted attractions.

Watermark with Ross Beaty

Oct 26, 2015

Healthy Water Brings a Healthy Lifestyle

As we were gearing up for the Waterkeeper Gala Vancouver last spring I had the opportunity to sit down with Ross Beaty and hear his most powerful memories of water. He admitted that he didn't have just one, but thousands of powerful memories that really demonstrated his deep connection to water. He tells us how important water is to him, his family and the human existence. Hear his story (and learn about his favourite fishing spot) in the video below.

Watermark with Bruce Langereis

Sep 17, 2015

What is your most powerful memory of water?

This is a question we have been asking ourselves, our friends and our supporters over the past year in hopes of helping each individual re-discover their personal connection to water. The stories we gather will be part of the Watermark Project and will play an important role in demonstrating our shared connection to water across the country.

There's Still Time! Explore Vancouver's Waterways this Summer

Aug 25, 2015

As the summer months are coming to a close we strongly suggest you get outside to explore Vancouver's waterways while the sun is still shining! Here are just a few of the amazing things you can do on/in/near the water over the next couple of weeks:

Mount Polley: One Year Later and Still No Justice

Aug 5, 2015

This Tuesday marked one year since the failure of the tailing storage facility at Mount Polley gold and copper mine in the early hours of August 4th, 2014, dumped billions of litres of waste water and mining slurry into the Quesnel River watershed; resulting in what has been called the worst mining disaster in modern Canadian history. The timing could not have been worse: a record run of 72 million sockeye salmon were expected for the Fraser River that season, with as much of a quarter of those fish heading straight for the impacted watershed.

While a review by an independent panel of engineers determined that the root cause of the failure of Mount Polley's tailing storage facility (TSF) was a layer of previously undetected glacial clay beneath its foundation which compromised its structural integrity, details that have come to light in the months since the disaster indicate that gaps in mine inspections stemming from budget cuts and understaffing at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, as well as a general failure on the part of the mine's owners, Imperial Metals Corporation, to adequately maintain the TSF and manage wastewater on-site almost certainly contributed to the disaster.

The Lower Fraser River: death by a thousand cuts?

Jul 10, 2015

The Georgia Straight, Joe Daniels and Kevin Washbrook - July 10, 2015

Or a coherent vision for a sustainable future?

My Watermark: rock climbing next to Cheakamus River

Jul 9, 2015


My 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.


Thanks to our supporters

  • Ecomarine
  • Lush
  • MEC
  • Patagonia
  • Smak
  • Tides
  • Sitka
  • Woodtone
  • TD Friends of the Environment
  • Telus
  • Progressive Waste Solutions
  • Ocean Ambassadors
  • RBC Blue Water Project
  • BC Hydro
  • DM Foundation
  • City of North Vancouver
  • Jack Johnson
  • Flowlink