Summer Students Get Their Feet Wet!

The Freshwater Alliance team is incredibly lucky to be infused with the vitality, passion, and creativity of four young water advocates this summer! We are excited to introduce to you Teghan, Josh M., Jillian and Josh S. who will be joining us for the next months! 


Teghan Acres, Summer Outreach & Community Coordinator - Our Water B.C. (Coquitlam, BC)


Growing up, I spent my summers alternating between family cabins located on Pitt Lake and Christina Lake in British Columbia. My parents and grandparents passed down their love for these places by teaching me to swim, ski, fish and explore with constant curiosity. I was always the first one to jump into the water and the last to be coaxed out. Water is the common thread that connects me to my family and my home.

As I've gotten older, my love for the water has not faded. However, I am now much more aware of the threats that my homewaters and much of Canadafreshwater face. I value healthy and sustainable watersheds and I recognize we will need to fight for this to be a reality. This is a fight I'm happy to begin with the Freshwater Alliance, and to never give up.

Solomon Kim, Summer Research Intern (Toronto, ON) 


Throughout my childhood, I have lived in different environments. I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and later moved to a country called Paraguay when I was 6. The country being a developing nation, I grew up playing more outdoors interacting with nature.

Later, I moved back to Canada to a small town called the Blue Mountains--no surprise it is surrounded by mountains and lakes. During the winter I always went snowboarding after school, and in the summer, swimming in the lake was part of my daily routine. Nature has always been a part of me so it was very natural for me to establish a relationship with it. Now I seek adventure and to travel all around the world.

Josh Monk, Summer Outreach & Community Coordinator - Lake Erie Alive (London, ON) 


I grew up in Northwestern Ontario, surrounded by lakes and rivers. The bodies of water around me were both integral to the history of the town, as well as to the wellbeing of those within it. Whether it was going to the local museum and learning about how the Indigenous people, fur traders, and miners used the waterways historically; catching crayfish and fishing; or just swimming at the beach or tubing; I have always been interested in the history, geography, and ecology of water. Upon moving to London that interest was sustained, although it found a new home with the Thames River and Lake Erie.


Jillian Offor, Living Waters Rally Intern (Toronto, ON)


Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, I spent many hours playing around the Rouge River, looking for tadpoles and minnows about the riverbank. During my first summer trip to PEI, I explored the Atlantic coast. This only grew my affection as I started to understand just how vast and magnificent a body of water could be! 

It was not until my first-year of university that I fully understood that I had taken this resource for granted. My undergraduate studies allowed me to explore the awe-inspiring ways in which water not only makes life possible, but also brings together communities and supports ecosystems. However, I also became aware of the challenges that come with its distribution and depletion. This knowledge helped grow my passion and dedication to protect water. 


Josh Shepherd, Summer Outreach & Community Coordinator - Lake Erie Alive (London, ON) 


I lived in and around London, ON for my entire childhood and my dad would often take my family canoeing down the Thames River. I remember a time when we were paddling down the Thames and my older brother reached out of the canoe to touch the water. As younger brothers often do, I decided to copy him, but instead ended up falling face first into the river (wearing a lifejacket of course)! Since this abrupt introduction to the Thames, I have not been able to stay away from the lakes and rivers of Southwestern Ontario.

When I go paddling now, I am constantly amazed by the life these waterways support and this motivates me to advocate for better water protection.