The Freshwater Alliance runs a virtual office with staff located across the country.
Raj Gill, Great Lakes Program Director. Located in Orillia, ON
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,Co-Director (Interim) Communications and Operations. Located in London, ON.
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.
Danielle Paydli, BC Organizer. Located in Ladysmith, BC
Danielle's water story: My neighborhood water source, located just minutes from my home on Vancouver Island, flows to a beautiful waterfall called Stocking Creek Falls. When my family and I first moved to our new home, in the heat of summer, I was ecstatic to hike to the falls. I convinced my family to go on a 'fun' hike to see this breathtaking wonder. When we finally arrived after numerous mistaken 'shortcuts', sore and tired, we saw an anticlimactic trickle down the side of a rock! However, over the course of the next few months, following the rainy season, we watched it build to a powerful, gorgeous waterfall. I feel this has mirrored my personal experience within my new community. It takes time to build relationships, understand the unique culture of a community and build a life somewhere new but it is very worth it. I'm passionate about protecting our waters because I am passionate about community. Communities are built around water - it is our source of life and it is what truly connects us.
Coree Tull, Co-Director (Interim) Campaigns and Organizing. 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.
Ashley van der Pouw Kraan, Communications and Digital Engagement Lead. Located in Vancouver, BC
Ashley's water story: I was fortunate enough to grow up on the edge of the Fraser, British Columbia’s longest river. I spent my childhood cycling around its southern length, captivated by the beaver-chewed trees lining the banks and red-tailed hawks soaring overhead. Only after moving inland did I truly appreciate the sense of peace and belonging that came from spending time around this waterway. Acting as a lifeline for the communities that live along its banks, a critical stopover site for migratory birds and the permanent home to a dazzling array of creatures, it is the needs of the Fraser and all of the waterways that flow throughout Canada that inspire me to work every day.
The Alliance is guided by the advice and support of our trusted advisors and our Steering Committee members, including:
- Jennifer West, Jijuktu'kwejk Watershed Alliance. Steering Committee Chair.
- Kat Hartwig, Living Lakes Network Canada. Steering Committee Member.
- 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.
Want to join our team? Check out our current postings here.