Recent Freshwater Alliance Posts

Protect the Other 99%: Restoring Rights to Access Navigable Waters

Access to millions of rivers and lakes rests on how the Navigation Protection Act is revised. Now is the time to nominate your home waters to join ALL navigable waters for protection from barriers that block navigation. You can join a movement calling on the Navigation Protection Act to ensure #nowatersleftbehind

 

People are raising alarm to protect an ecological and economically vital stretch of the Fraser River from developments that threaten critical sturgeon spawning habitat and that change water flows. A recent study of faulty floodgates on the Fraser shows how blocked water flows contributed to poor water quality and less native fish. Though the Navigation Protection Act (NPA) concerns human navigation, it is clear that structures that impede navigability also impact environmental health.

 

The good news is that the Fraser River falls within the protections of the Navigation Protection Act (NPA) so barriers to navigation (such as faulty flood-gates) could be challenged under the Act.  But millions of waterways lack the immediate protection that being listed in the Act provides. Many may have small communities with little resources to individually challenge harmful developments in court - the only option for those not listed under the NPA. Is this fair? With no government oversight for the cumulative impact of countless developments on unscheduled waterways, like pipelines to tailing ponds, the responsibility has shifted to the public to protect these navigable waterways.

 

Canada is a country woven together by the the lakes and rivers that span the land from coast-to-coast-to-coast. These waters were the original highways, their flows tied to treaty obligations, their waters providing us with space to swim, paddle and fish. Without a doubt the waterways across the country form a key pillar for community, economic, and physical health.

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What I learned as a summer outreach coordinator

What interested me the most about the Summer Outreach position with the Freshwater Alliance was its connection to water. Growing up in the Philippines, I always considered myself as a water ba

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by. Not only because my parents taught me how to swim at a very early age, but also because I knew early on that water was very important to me, to my country, but also to our future in this planet.

It is this love that continues to drive the way I experience a connection to water and water issues here in BC.

Having the opportunity to work for the Freshwater Alliance was a very enriching experience. Although my time with this passionate and dedicated team was short, I feel very grateful to have been given the time to work under the expertise of the CFA team.

While I had some previous experience in working with both event organizing and environmental sustainability groups, my role as the Summer Outreach Coordinator definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. The independence that I was given to plan, organize and coordinate events was, at first, daunting. But this feeling was quickly replaced by love and support as I began to know more about the CFA team. In getting to know Coree, Christine, Lindsay, Raj and Elani, I got to know the true spirit of the Alliance - one that is driven by passion, hard work and dedication. This community of leaders was a motivating force and helped me push past my apprehensions and learn to be comfortable in my passion for sustainability.

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BC’s Provincial State of Emergency: From Floods to Fires

We continue to hear that human-driven climate change is resulting in more extreme weather events. We anticipate climate change to bring about more environmental extremes, but have we done enough to truly prepare for these changes?

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Today, our fellow British Columbians are experiencing these very climate extremes. Earlier this summer, a wet start to the season caused severe flooding and mudslides in communities in B.C.’s Southern Interior, such as the Central Okanagan.

The flooding was reminiscent of the rampant flooding across the Kootenay region and parts of the Fraser Valley in 2012, when nearly 700 British Columbians were forced to evacuate their homes to avoid dangers posed by rising floodwaters.

The unusually wet season was followed by extremely hot and dry weather--conditions that have facilitated the spread of wildfires. As wildfires ignited near communities throughout the BC interior, over 40,000 people have already been evacuated. The BC government was forced to call the first provincial state of emergency in almost 15 years. Kevin Shrepnek, BC’s fire Chief of Information has called the situation “fluid and volatile.” He told the Globe and Mail, “the fact that we declared a state of emergency across the province speaks to how serious this situation is.”

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Healthy Food, Healthy Water

 

By: Lindsay Telfer 


If there are two things in this world that each and every one of us need, it is healthy food and clean water. That's why I spent last Thursday representing the Freshwater Alliance at a summit in Ottawa that was held to inform the development of a Food Policy for Canada. The importance of our freshwater voice in these consultations became increasingly apparent as the day went on.

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We're Hiring!

BC Summer Student, Outreach Coordinator

Vancouver

9 weeks at 4 days/week at 30hours/week

$15hour

 From Canada’s big cities to its remote land, waters, and rural communities,

Tides Canada provides uncommon solutions for the common good.

Our mission is to help Canadians secure a healthy environment in ways that promote

social equity and economic prosperity. To tackle the complex environmental and social

problems that we face in Canada today, Tides Canada provides strategy, expertise, and tools

 to ensure changemakers can get from vision to impact.

The Freshwater Alliance, a project on the Tides Canada shared platform, is a national initiative that builds, connects and supports freshwater constituencies across Canada. We work with environmental organizations, community groups, governments and businesses to strengthen citizen engagement and participation in the protection of our lakes and rivers.

Position Summary: Our Summer Outreach Coordinator (Summer Student) will be responsible for supporting the coordination of community outreach at events and/or town halls across British Columbia. Events will celebrate the connection of our communities with our lakes, rivers and waterways and will be designed to increase public narratives, strengthen community engagement and raise awareness on water decisions affecting communities. Events will, where possible, leverage Canada’s 150year celebrations emphasizing the current and historical importance of water to our communities, including First Nations and non-First Nations

 

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