Our Water BC January 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022! Thank you all for contributing & happy reading. 

Next meeting is January 13th at 12:00 PM

New Members

Rosebud Community Watershed Protection Group

Social media:

Current projects and successes:

  • To protect our drinking water and water supply from logging by BCTS
  • We have requested a meeting with the Minister of Forests to seek support for a Water Sustainability Plan. We have verbal support from our NDP MLA. Currently waiting for confirmation of a meeting.
News, events and actions:
  • We are keeping the Community apprised of any progress and sending information out to them on our Community Facebook Page. We are hoping to hear back from the Minister soon. We have had some correspondence from BCTS that states they will be sharing the data from the hydrology and geo-technical work they completed this fall.

West Kootenay EcoSociety

West Kootenay EcoSociety is a non-profit community-driven organization that brings together local residents to protect the natural environment while building just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities in the West Kootenay region.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Community Solutions, Climate Change, Conservation, Food Sustainability

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

Current projects and successes:

  • We are coming to the final weeks of the first phase of the Community in Nature project. This phase will see the completion in depth research and analysis of the ecological condition, function and natural benefits of two West Kootenay watersheds along with historical community reports and a map set illustrating what needs to be conserved in order to maintain clean drinking water, climate resilience, biodiversity and community safety.
News, events and actions:
  • TBA a webinar in early March to share our learnings.

Province-wide Updates

Canadian Freshwater Alliance

The Freshwater Alliance is a national initiative that inspires and supports a network of freshwater guardians working for a future where all our waters are healthy and safe. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Our work takes the form of partnerships through:

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • NewMode Suite of Tools
  • Access to educators
  • Staff time
  • Event promotion to our networks
  • Networking connections

Current projects & successes: 

  • Season 2 of the Freshwater Stream podcast! Episodes coming soon.
  • As a Steering Committee member of the Watershed Security Coalition, we are calling on the Province to uphold their commitment to a Watershed Security Fund and Strategy.
  • Streamlining provincial networks and groups
  • Preparing for decolonization sessions to be rolled out the following quarter

News, events and actions:

 

Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Watershed Watch Salmon Society works to defend and rebuild B.C.’s wild salmon and their habitats.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Wild salmon (addressing threats including factory fish farms, lack of access to habitat, destruction of habitat, etc)
  • Watershed security through CodeBlueBC

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Shareable data sets, reports, maps, Social media, apps advice/ experience (social media content schedulers, CRMs, webinar platforms etc.), Misc skills (writing/editing, photography, GIS, fieldwork knowledge, restoration knowledge, etc.)
    • Water quality data for a subset of lower mainland streams from Chilliwack to Richmond
    • Utilize numerous apps, Asana, Hootsuite, Keela, Jotform, Slack, Zoom, Goto, Ringcentral, etc. and can provide general advice/ details about these platforms.
    • A large platform for event promotion- Please contact us about your events! 

Current projects & actions, successes:

  • Safe Passage/Safe Salmon: Continue to push for factory fish farms to be removed from BC waters. Many farm licenses are up for renewal this year in June. Petitions to share/ sign are here and here.
  • Connected Waters: Continuing to advocate for fish-friendly flood infrastructure upgrades and for updates to funding requirements that would require flood infrastructure projects to be fish-friendly. The province and federal governments are investing hundreds of millions into salmon recovery and investments in flood infrastructure upgrades should work towards salmon recovery efforts, not against. Send a letter to federal and provincial leaders to support this campaign.
  • CodeBlue BC: Working with CFA on building community groups and capacity in communities across the province. Preparing for the Season 2 launch of the Freshwater Stream: The CodeBlue series. Currently calling on BC government to invest flood recovery funding into restoring natural defences against flooding. Take action here.
  • Pushing for more signatures for this petition calling for protections for Interior Fraser Steelhead under SARA. Please share on your networks - it is open for signature until March 26. Petition link here.
  • We hosted an online film launch of Resilient Waters, a short film about our Resilient Waters project with MakeWay that is working towards upgrading outdated flood infrastructure in the lower Fraser to restore habitat connectivity for wild salmon. Watch it here.
  • We developed a series of animations to better explain both how current flood infrastructure is harmful to wild salmon and how alternative structures are fish-friendly. We reached 500 members in our Facebook volunteer group. Had great growth on our Instagram account in recent months. Follow us here 😀

News & events:

North Cariboo Métis Association

A member of the MNBC Chartered Communities whose mandate is to develop and enhance opportunities for Métis communities by implementing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services.

Current projects and successes:

  • The North Cariboo Métis Association has secured funding from Métis Nation British Columbia to continue running our stream temperature monitoring sites for the next two years, and to expand our environmental monitoring program in 2022 to include remediation of some illegal dumping sites adjacent to waterways in the North Cariboo region.
  • We are starting juvenile Coho and Chinook DNA sampling in Baker Creek in partnership with the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation and MFLNRORD. This is part of a larger 3 year project intended to determine the extent of Coho salmon populations in the Fraser River watershed north of the Big Bar slide and to characterize the genetics of these populations. This is meant to develop a scientific background to build a framework for agencies to develop recovery strategies.

Island Updates

 

Nanaimo & Area Land Trust

The mission of the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust is to support, promote and protect the natural values of land and water in our area.

Social media:

Current projects and successes:

  • Working towards water reconciliation

News, events and actions:

  • Register for the Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar - January 20th @ 7PM
    Please consider joining the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) and our presentation partners the Partnership for Water sustainability in BC on January 20th for the Watershed Moments - Blue Ecology Virtual Seminar. The seminar will be guided by the theme of Blue Ecology – the interweaving of Indigenous and western water stewardship knowledge - presented by Ama Goodin Gyet (Michael Blackstock).
    The seminar will also highlight school based water stewardship initiatives in the Cowichan, Nanaimo and Comox regions, including NALT’s School Water Stewards Program. Join us for an exploration of water reconciliation and placed-based experiential learning. The seminar begins at 7 pm with panel presentation and discussion and a Q&A sessions moderated by Richard Boase, Manager of Environmental Sustainability District of North Vancouver. Registration by donation. More information is available at this link.

 

Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society

Protecting the fresh water resources of Salt Spring Island. Protect Drinking Water Sources & develop a Freshwater Catalogue for SSI to support local watershed stewardship and provide input to (influence/steer) island freshwater resource management:

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Regulating tree cutting
  • Researching water sources

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Shareable data sets, reports, maps. Contact John Millson at [email protected] for data being gathered on stream chemistry and flow. 

Current projects and successes:

  • WPS, FreshWater Catalogue (FWC) work is ongoing in multiple Salt Spring island watersheds, including collaboration with the Quw’utsun, Stqeeye’ Learning Society (SLS), at Xwaaqw'um Village.
  • New FWC volunteer onboarding (always ongoing...) supports the development of a, continuous, island watersheds baseline field dataset (there are ca 100 watersheds on the island...), and community development in the form of "FWC watershed community stewards".
  • FWC onboarding also includes "home office" support for field data analysis, where we now have > 5,000 flow and chemistry field datasets. To ensure that the FWC data is considered (leveraged) in developing island watershed sustainability plans , lobbying for the use of our FWC field data in upcoming agency projects remains an ongoing activity.
  • Development of a set of island-based, natural ecosystems and watershed-oriented field/classroom educational modules, with staff from School District 64, continues. With the timely release of "Freshwater Saltspring" supporting this educational effort

News, events and actions:

  • Our WPS educational video short "Freshwater Salt Spring", has been finalised. To ensure the video's visibility within the community, distribution via multiple avenues (schools, agencies, media, +), is being pursued. This may be leading to an increase in WPS Facebook group traffic...? Please distribute the video widely!

Southwestern BC

 

Rivershed Society of BC

Connect, protect and restore the Fraser's 34 riversheds.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Delivering public education programs
  • Community initiatives
  • Building stewardship capacity in the Fraser River Basin

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Connecting with like-minded groups or organizations
  • Sharing your organization's work in our newsletter/social media channels
  • Support in organizing within the Fraser watershed (particularly in the lower Fraser)

Current projects and successes:

  • Continuing work on our pilot Foodlands Corridor Restoration site on the Salmon River. Outreach to additional property owners, planning for maintenance of completed sites, and assessment a property owned by the Township of Langley.
  • Reaching out to regional partners to assess opportunities for collaboration.
  • Planning a Fraser Headwaters to Sea Paddle for August 2022 with photographer Fernando Lessa, developing a documentary with Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
  • Completing the first two sites on the Salmon River Foodlands Pilot Corridor!
  • Having a really successful year end fundraising campaign.

News, events and actions:

  • There is a Heart of the Fraser Strategy session on January 25th from 9am to 4pm co-hosted by PSF and Rivershed. Sign up for the event here.

 

 

Stoney Creek Environment Committee

Stoney Creek Environment Committee (SCEC) is a dedicated group of volunteers committed to protecting, preserving, and enhancing Burnaby’s urban forest and salmon-bearing stream through various stream-keeping activities. 

Social media:

Current projects and successes:

  • Road Salt and Salmon Project: ongoing
  • I think we have shown that chloride contamination from road salt is not just in Stoney Creek but in other urban creeks.
  • Sewage spills: organizing for improving provincial spill response procedures.

News, events and actions:

 

WaterWealth Project

Community control over decisions affecting our local home waters, rooted in recognition of First Nations rights and title.

Social media:

Key issues: 

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Misc skills (writing/editing, photography, GIS, fieldwork knowledge, restoration knowledge, etc.)
  • Happy to talk with anyone about our experience launching a watershed monitoring program and deploying temperature loggers along about 60 km of Vedder/Chilliwack River and Sxótsaqel (Chilliwack Lake).

Current projects and successes:

  • Trans Mountain Expansion Project
  • Chilliwack River Valley watershed monitoring
  • Deer Creek Off-Channel restoration

News, events and actions:

  • Waiting over 2 months now to hear back whether CER is going to enforce the construction timing in Browne Creek Wetlands that was the timing commitment from the route hearing. Hazardous conditions have prevented checking on temperature loggers since the floods but we pretty much know some will have been lost. Much of the Deer Creek restoration has been set back by gravel movement during the floods, is not flowing and we won't be heading up there till this freezing rain is done. So much water, but it's all been angry!
  • Check out this Toolkit from Climate Messengers about responding to the public consultation survey on Canada’s 2030 Emission Reduction Plan. Deadline to submit is January 14th.

 

Eastern BC

 

Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

Our mandate is the preservation and protection of all watersheds in our community, with a goal of providing a consistent quantity, quality and timing of flow of water.

Social media:

Key issues: The vulnerability of our watershed — illustrated by our poor quality drinking water and annual flooding — is our chief concern.

Current projects & successes:
  • Meetings with cao, mayor, mlas and mps, in letter writing and invite stages
  • Selling 2022 and making new 2023 calendars for fundraising
  • Working on MoE deferrals for endangered pygmy owls
  • Have 3 speakers booked for Jan Feb Mar speakers series
  • Have a movie for WW Mar 22 day IN In Memory of Fish, covid depending, have a watershed wide clean up day with REG dist. booked for April 22
  • Lots of Publicity, new paid members, support from local government, a successful grant app

News, events and actions:

  • Working with Evergreen Alliance - will share when ready

Lake Windermere Ambassadors

We have a vision of an ecologically healthy Lake Windermere, with balanced management approaches that support recreation and traditional uses, high fish and wildlife values, and economic prosperity in the region. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Water quality/quantity
  • Community outreach/education
  • Increasing public access around the lake
  • Filling knowledge gaps around biodiversity in the lake (native fish and mussel surveys)
  • Adding to provincial invasive species inventories

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Shareable data sets, reports, maps: www.lakeambassadors.ca we make all of our data public and are happy to discuss our program with anyone!  

Current projects and successes:

  • We will be looking at our 2021 monitoring data and putting together a report on that, supporting the Lake Windermere Whiteway Outreach Program, and prepping for the spring/summer monitoring and outreach!
  • Completion of our Annual Report and on boarding of two new staff! Amy Baxter is joining us as our new Program Coordinator, taking over for Shannon who is moving on to work with MakeWay, and Ellen Wilker is joining as our new Program Assistant.

News, events and actions:

 

Elk River Alliance

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) is a community-based water group that aims to connect people to the Elk River ensuring it is drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations. ERA aims to improve and preserve watershed health through projects that raise watershed literacy, inform sustainable water decision-making, collect scientific data to prioritize restoration opportunities and promote safe and sustainable river recreation. @Elkriveralliance (Facebook, Instagram)

Social media:

Key issues: 

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Shareable data sets, reports, maps: We expect to be collaborating with a range of partners to improve data sharing agreements in the Elk Valley/East Kootenays. 

Current projects and successes:

  • Elk Valley Cottonwood Restoration: In development
  • CBWM: Reporting
  • Elk River Watershed Collaborative Monitoring Program: Governance and Pilot program, plus Signage and Sediment studies reporting/wrapup
  • Elk River Watershed Collaborative Monitoring Program - Inaugural forum December 3rd 2021

No January Updates

 

Arrowsmith GroundWater Alliance 

Our principal focus is on the health of our local watershed. We are interested in preventing new bottled water operations in BC. 

BC Coalition for Forestry Reform

Uniting communities for more say in forestry development in their local areas. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • We support data-driven, long-term stewardship of the timber and non-timber values of BC’s forests
  • We advocate for forest management based on long-term landscape-level planning, a mandatory shared decision making process with local communities, careful incorporation of public needs and values, and full recognition of our forests’ non-timber values including water, wildlife, tourism, and recreation

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Forestry-specific insight and access to a province-wide community

BC Whitewater

Advocating for publicly accessible, free-flowing rivers throughout BC

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • We have ongoing work to secure access to rivers used for recreation throughout BC, working with local governments and the river community. 

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

 

Beaufort Watershed Stewards

The Beaufort Watershed Stewards work to promote the health and resilience of local watersheds in the Beaufort Range and to ensure the quality and quantity of fresh water for the future.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Sampling
  • Aquifer mapping
  • Partnership development

 

Columbia Basin Watershed Network

The Columbia Basin Watershed Network Society is the go-to hub for watershed groups to find information, training or connections, and a voice for watershed stewardship across the Basin.

Comox Valley Land Trust - Conservation Partnership Program 

The CVCP brings together local community-based groups and other stakeholders to provide a coordinated voice for the value of conservation in our communities. Together, as partners, the CVCP works proactively with local governments to encourage the development of innovative policies and regulations that protect sensitive ecosystems and watersheds, as well as to ensure the impacts of development and land use are balanced with environmental objectives.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Advocate for water source protection, that conserves natural assets and drinking water sources at the watershed scale, while adaptively managing social and economic activities 
  • Advocate for land acquisition and habitat restoration opportunities to protect local species and ecosystems at-risk, improve habitat connectivity, and increase urban forest canopy coverage
  • Engage in collaboration and relationship building with local municipalities/authorities/school district 71, provincial/federal government and First Nations to incorporate the Nature Without Borders regional conservation strategy into current land use, policy and regulation
  • Encourage eco-asset valuation processes in support of local government sustainable asset management strategies to account for natural systems functions and promote climate change adaptation
  • Advocate for the inclusion of local environmental information and where appropriate, develop innovative studies to strengthen local approaches and strategies to conserve natural areas

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Insight into our Municipal Natural Assets Initiative(MNAI) work and eco-asset accounting

 

Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable 

To preserve and enhance the health of the Coquitlam River Watershed through collaboration, education and advisory action.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Pressures affecting watershed health, namely: development, invasive species, stormwater, water extraction, recreation, vandalism / illegal activity, mainstream cultural norms, mining

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

 

Cowichan Watershed Board 

The Cowichan Watershed Board, a partnership between Cowichan Tribes First Nation, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District provides leadership for sustainable water management and to protect and enhance environmental quality and the quality of life in the local watershed regions. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Low river flows
  • Salmon sustainability
  • Indigenous co-governance
  • Riparian health
  • Estuary toxicity
  • Water quality
  • Watershed connections/education
  • Water conservation

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Website resources as well as sharing knowledge around the work of Indigenous co-governance in action

 

Fraser Riverkeeper Society

Fraser Riverkeeper, an initiative of Swim Drink Fish, is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Fraser River and its watershed—our encompassing mission is to ensure the right of all citizens to safely swim, drink, and fish in BC waters. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Bacterial contamination

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

 

Merville Water Guardians

Prohibition of the bottling and commercial sale of groundwater @Merville-water-guardians (Facebook)

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Bottling and commercial sale of groundwater

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Guidance on water bottling campaign work

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Biosphere reserves are considered model regions for sustainable development. They work to promote the conservation of biological and cultural diversity in addition to economic and social development. In each biosphere reserve, community partners work together to find innovative ways to achieve a balance between the needs of humans and nature.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Conserve biodiversity, restore and enhance ecosystem services, and foster the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Contribute to building sustainable, healthy and equitable societies, economies and thriving human settlements in harmony with the biosphere.
  • Facilitate biodiversity and sustainability science, education for sustainable development and capacity building.
  • Support mitigation and adaptation to climate change and other aspects of global environmental change.

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Shareable data sets, reports, map: Our research reports can be found here.

 

Nechako Environment & Water Stewardship Society

Mandate is the recovery of salmon-bearing streams. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Rehabilitation of streams
  • Watershed planning
  • Mapping of aquifers
  • Environmental stewardship and education
  • Developing a program to administrate a “Gold Label” certification standard for agricultural products produced in the Nechako Valley

 

 

Pitt Meadows Environmental Network

To highlight and advocate for environmental and climate issues in Pitt Meadows.

Social media:

 

Protectors of Box Mountain Watershed

Working together as a community to protect our Box Mountain Watershed to the best of our ability to ensure clean drinking water for every child and their family. We will do this at all levels of government including locally. Any action we choose to take as a group working together will always be within the law.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Keeping any logging off Box Mountain Watershed

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Collaboration
  • Online consulting
  • Shared mentorship dialogues

Quadra Island Climate Action Network Society

Our aim is to assist Quadra Island in becoming more resilient and self-sufficient in the face of impending ecological challenges. Our mandate is to organize and foster direct action on clearly defined practical projects. 

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • We are the team of ICAN dedicated to working on ways to help people, plants, animals of our Island have enough water to live in harmony in our changing times.

 

Rivers Without Borders Canada

Rivers Without Borders Canada (RWBC) raises awareness of the extraordinary ecological and cultural values of the transboundary watersheds of northwest British Columbia and southeast Alaska, and promotes ecosystem-based stewardship to sustain those values. We work with First Nations, tribes, commercial fishermen, scientists, community leaders, businesses, NGOs, and others to keep a spectacular region defining the essence of North American wilderness, and one of the continent’s best conservation opportunities, intact and thriving. 

Social media:

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • We have many staff members that are particularly knowledgeable about the transboundary area. We have a variety of resources available for these areas

Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition

Cultivate a sustainable future from a sustainable environment rooted in our culture and a thriving wild salmon ecosystem.

Social media:

Key issues: 

  • Economic development that salmon can thrive with
  • Science & research
  • Youth/women on water programs
  • Land use planning
  • Community building

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • We can take you rafting down the rivers of the Skeena Watershed

Sqilxw Apna Society

Sqilxw Apna Society is centred on the sqilxw (of the North Okanagan syilx) territory in B.C. with the aim to strengthen Indigenous families' capacity in engaging deeper issues on sustainability from the Indigenous perspective. We are empowering ‘Indigenous ways of Knowing’ and traditional egalitarian groupings through community, culture, art and the environment.

Website:

 

Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition

As an umbrella organization, the mission of VIWWC is to work at guiding and supporting our member groups in lobbying all levels of government while we engage in various water-related projects.  

Website:

Key issues: 

  • See mandate above

Key resources (to offer OWBC team):

  • Website with regular news updates