By Sadie Caron
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.
For the past year, I have been the Outreach Coordinator for the North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper in Edmonton, Alberta. While the work of Fraser Riverkeeper, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper is often focused on local water issues, we work closely together as members of Swim Drink Fish Canada. Swim Drink Fish (SDF) empowers millions of people across Canada and beyond to know and safeguard their waters by blending science, law, education, and storytelling with technology. Utilizing SDF’s digital platforms, Swim Guide and Watermark Project, we all contribute to meaningful data with citizen science, water monitoring programs, and impactful water stories. In Edmonton, the North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper informs and engages the community through workshops, cleanups, monitoring, blog posts, and social media. I have been busy coordinating a water monitoring program, creating a water literacy toolkit, running workshops with hundreds of students across the city, and organizing river valley cleanups. In my new role, I will continue to work with Edmonton’s community of water guardians from Vancouver’s Swim Drink Fish office, coordinating our Western Canadian programs.
Sadie hiking above Grassi Lakes in Canmore, AB.
During my first week in Vancouver, I joined the team to prepare for the 4th Semi-Annual Swim Drink Fish Gala. The Gala was an inspiring place to start off my role with Fraser Riverkeeper. Not only was I exposed to a beautiful event, but I was immersed in the incredible community that gathered in the name of swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. Our work strives to create a movement of people dedicated to protecting their waters. This event was a prime representation of that goal.
My own personal relationship with water has always run deep. Throughout my childhood, I was compared to a fish, splashing in the water long past the point where my fingers started to wrinkle. But as an adult, I developed a very strong Watermark with the Caribbean Sea. I studied water resource management for 4 months in Holetown, Barbados. Learning about the impacts of water scarcity, wastewater management, and fecal contamination affected me greatly. The same waters in which I learned to scuba dive had failed our water quality tests. I saw these waters which were home to diverse and fragile species, as well as a thriving tourism industry, threatened by what we flushed down our toilets. This realization solidified my responsibility to protect our waters and established my lifelong role as a water guardian.
I look forward to meeting you and your fellow water guardians! Whether it’s out sampling for our Vancouver Water Monitoring Program, helping out at the annual Fraser Valley Cleanup, attending the next Swim Drink Fish Gala, or simply sharing your Watermark or a pollution report, our movement continues to grow with your support. I’ll be there every step of the way working to connect people to their local waters, collect data by growing our citizen science program, share our data for free through Swim Guide, and engage with our communities through water literacy workshops. Join me in ensuring a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future for all.
Sadie joining the Fraser Riverkeeper team, Julia Pepler and Katie Moore for her water monitoring in Vancouver's False Creek.