The Freshwater Alliance runs a virtual office with staff located across the country.
Raj's water story: Rolling down the hill on my bike for a swim was my first date with Lake Couchiching. The relationship grew to exploring the evening shoreline by kayak for birds and skiing by winter’s ice-fishing huts. Getting to know this lake and its web of intimate relationships brings home the larger water protection issues. It sustains my motivation to apply my community organizing experience to build a stronger water advocacy network.
Christine Mettler, Communications and Special Projects Lead. Located in Kelowna, BC
Christine's water story: In the agricultural community of Niagara, ON where I grew up, water was all around me. I didn't grow up on the shores of a river or lake, but was surrounded by a network of irrigation ditches and ponds. One day, my mom found a turtle that had wandered into our barn. We brought the lost turtle to an irrigation pond where we often spotted other turtles. I remember the joy we felt as watched the little guy run toward water’s edge and dive in. I came to cherish that irrigation pond and—although not a pristine environment—came to see it as a beautiful place, full of life. Today, that's how I see water—as life-giving and sustaining— and this is what inspires me to work to protect our most precious resource.
Lindsay's water story: I grew up searching for crayfish along the shores of the Thames River and swimming between the sand dunes of Lake Huron’s shores near Sauble Beach. It wasn’t until I worked alongside communities whose waters were threatened that I became aware how significant these experiences were in my life. Married now to an avid fisherman, healthy and thriving waters are central to our lives and to the experiences we seek to instil in our young daughters.
Coree Tull, Organizing Director. Located in Vancouver, BC
Coree's water story: My childhood memories of Vernon, BC where I grew up are of swimming in turquoise lakes, skiing on the powder of record snowfalls and watching streams in my neighbourhood come alive with spawning salmon every year. In 2003, I saw first-hand the devastating impact of low snowpacks, severe drought and wildfires in my community. I learned quickly about the connectivity of our water systems and the important role water plays in our lives--a source of recreation, health, wealth and connection for our communities. Since then I have been committed to learning about human relationships to water. Water is life, and this is what drives me everyday.
Megan Peloso, B.C. Communications Lead. Located in Smithers, BC
Megan's water story: Our house in Ottawa backed on to the Mer Bleue Bog. I had no idea back then of the ecological significance of a northern boreal bog, or how it might help reduce climate instability. I did know, through experience, that it was a very wet place, that looked different one day to the next, and attracted every living thing like a magnet. It was the first place I heard the loud slap of a beaver's tail on the water surface, watched turtles sunbathing on a log, and hurried home to avoid the attentions of a coyote. I have always been enchanted with wetlands, the healthy ecosystems they attract, and it's always been clear and unspoken that it's because of the water.
Natalija Vojno, Navigation Protection Act (NPA)Organizer Located in Toronto, ON
Natalija's water story: The flowing waters of the Humber River rooted my family and I to our new home in Canada. Time observing nature always filled me with a sense of calm. Decades later, I began my journey as a water guardian. From training youth to engage in water policy at global forums to advancing solutions for urban flooding, like a smart rain barrel system, I grew certain that people working together can co-create better ways of managing our shared water resources. Freshwater security for today's generation and for kids in the future requires us to use our head, heart, and hands to bring all waters to a state of good health.
The Alliance is guided by the advice and support of our trusted advisors and our Steering Committee members, including:
- Kat Hartwig, Living Lakes Network Canada. Steering Committee Chair.
- Danika Littlechild. Onion Lake First Nation. Steering Committee Member.
- Susi Porter-Bopp. First Nations Fisheries Council. Steering Committee Member.
- Jill Ryan, Freshwater Future. Steering Committee Member.
- Krystyn Tully, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Steering Committee Member.