Collaborating to protect water
in a changing climate
We build capacity through community-based water monitoring to help address climate impacts. We promote and facilitate cross-sector collaboration and research to increase water literacy, and support progressive decision-making for improved water stewardship.
Our successful leadership and stewardship templates have supported the creation of many other grassroots water stewardship groups. Living Lakes Canada has received multiple water stewardship awards, and has been recognized by the federal government as a “best practices” example in community-based ecological monitoring in Canada.
Living Lakes Canada is the recipient of two 2017 Water’s Next Awards (Water Steward of the Year and Non-Government Organization Winner), and was featured in the March/April 2019 issue of Water Canada magazine for work as one of Canada’s top water stewards.
Living Lakes Canada is a registered charity and affiliated with German-based Global Nature Fund’s Living Lakes International, a global network of organizations that share the same mission: to enhance, protect, restore and rehabilitate freshwater areas around the globe.
Megan has a Masters degree in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UBC, 2014). With an interest in African studies carried over from field research conducted during her undergrad (Honours in International Development, Bachelor of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, 2009), Megan’s graduate research focused on local water access and community-scale participatory water governance in peri-urban areas of Accra, Ghana. Freshly in the wake of receiving her graduate diploma, Megan dove head-first into learning about non-profit management in the world of water, serving as Program Coordinator of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ community water stewardship programs for almost 3 years (2014-2017). She is a certified Program Manager through the Canadian Aquatic BIomonitoring Network. Megan currently lives in Smithers and works as a professional grant writer and contractor.
Merrell-Ann Phare is Executive Director and Legal Counsel to the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, a national First Nation charitable environmental organization. She has been with CIER in these capacities since its inception in 1994 when the founding CIER Board of Directors asked her to assist them in creating a national First Nation environmental research, education and capacity-building organization. CIER has four program areas: Building Sustainable Communities, Protecting Lands and Waters, Conserving Biodiversity, and Taking Action on Climate Change.
Ms. Phare holds an undergraduate degree in environmental economics, and a bachelors and masters degree in law focused upon Indigenous water rights in Canada.
Merrell-Ann is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), a legal advisor to the Assembly of First Nations regarding water matters, and serves on behalf of CIER on numerous advisory committees and consultation bodies, including the Advisory Panel for the RBC Blue Water Project. She is the author of the book ‘Denying The Source: The Crisis of First Nation Water Rights’ published in 2009 by Rocky Mountain Books. Her next book, ‘Ethical Water’, was co-authored with Robert Sandford and will be published by Rocky Mountain Books in the fall of 2011.
Michele A Sam
Michele A Sam is the Indigenous Peoples and Places (IPP) Liaison for Living Lakes Canada. Michele was born in Toronto (a word translated to indicate “Where trees stand tall in the water”), Ontario, where her father is from. He is Haudenosaunee with Italian heritage and Michele honours her father’s people by following her mother’s lineage. Through her mother, Michele has familial ties across all 6 Ktunaxa/Ksanka communities and is an “official band member” of ʔaq̓am, making her an ʔaq̓amnik. Michele returned to her homelands and her people 25 years ago through her own academic research and just bought her first and forever home in Cranbrook – “taking up lands for future generations”, according to Ktunaxa tradition.
Michele has been inspired to participate in self-development as an act of freedom — a result of being one of the ‘60s scoop kids and whose 5 generations before her all attended St. Eugene’s Mission School. In her professional role, she facilitates, advises and consults on a number of people and place-based projects, supporting Indigenous Peoples’ self-development including research initiatives, and is an avid supporter of Indigenous Peoples’ re-attachments to lands and water scapes.
Link to her consulting website HERE.
Oliver M Brandes serves as Co-Director of the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and leads the Water Sustainability Project where his work focuses on water sustainability, sound resource management, public policy development and ecologically based legal and institutional reform. Oliver is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria in both Law and in Public Administration. He is a founding member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and the BC Convening for Action Vancouver Island (CAVI) Leadership Team and has affiliations at a number of Canadian Universities as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo, a Research Associate at the Centre for Global Studies and at Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and a Faculty Associate at the University of Manitoba’s Global Political Economy Program.
In 2012 he co-developed and co-taught BC’s first Water Law course at the University of Victoria’s Law school. He formally serves the BC Ministry of Environment advising on Water Act Modernization and is a technical advisor to the Council of the Federation on water and serves on many boards and committees that provide strategic water policy advice to all levels of government, as well as numerous national and regional non-government and funding organizations – including as Co-Chair of the WWF Canada’s Freshwater Program.
He has over 100 academic and professional publications and in 2009, helped lead the writing of Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management which brought together the results of the first-ever international comprehensive water soft path study.
Dr. Paul Bach lived in the Columbia Valley for 10 years prior to moving to Vancouver where he now lives. He has travelled throughout many of Canada’s remote and rural areas as a physician serving smaller communities, including the Canadian high Arctic, the Atlantic provinces as well the BC interior including the Columbia Valley. Paul has been a director for the Land Conservancy of BC and has over 10 years of board experience in the non for profit sector. As a physician, scientist, and environmental advocate, Paul understands the vital interconnections between the health of our ecosystems, the health of our planet and the health of humans and the health of water that connects them all.
Paul Bauman is the Technical Director of the Near Surface Geophysics group at WorleyParsons, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Paul started the group in 1990, and has since managed or co-managed the group. Paul has a B.Sc.E. in Geological Engineering from Princeton, and an M.Sc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo. Paul is a Professional Geophysicist and Professional Engineer with over 30 years of geophysical exploration experience in the environmental, engineering, water resource, mining, oil and gas, and archaeology disciplines. While Paul has worked extensively in Western Canada on many water resource related projects, some of the more unusual sites where he has carried out investigations include approximately 20 archaeology sites in Israel, and in refugee camps in Bangladesh and Africa. Paul has appeared in a number of documentaries and television series including the National Geographic Television special Finding Atlantis, two NOVA documentaries (Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land and Holocaust Escape Tunnel [Nov., 2017]), the documentary Deadly Deception at Sobibor, the six episode Discovery series Finding Escobar’s Millions (Nov. 2017), the soon to be released The Good Nazi, and Finding Water (Jan., 2018), which is about a water exploration program in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.
Living Lakes Canada’s Administrative Director, Prudence-Elise Breton was born and raised in rural Quebec. She has always been interested in relationships between people and their natural environment. During her undergraduate studies in Social Work at Laval University, Quebec, she did an internship in a remote community helping them to build a development plan with the main objective of protecting their Salmon River as it brought them employment, food security, recreation and spiritual connection with nature.
In 2006, Prudence relocated to Prince George, B.C., to undertake a Master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. Her thesis was to examine how sustainability is implemented within EcoVillage at Ithaca (NY), a non-profit educational organization promoting sustainable living and land stewardship. During her studies, she fell in love with the beautiful scenery of British Columbia and was looking for a place to live where people would be ecologically minded. She chose Nelson in 2009. Since then, she has held multiple managerial and coordination positions in the non-profit sector and has been involved with various Boards and steering committees.
R. Allen Curry
Director and Science Director, CRI
Past Fellow, CRI (2001-2011)
Professor, Biology and Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick
Cloverleaf/New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources Professor of Recreational Fisheries Research
Assistant Director, New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Allen Curry has a PhD in Zoology from the University Guelph, MSc in Watershed Ecosystems from Trent University, and a HonsBES (Geography and Biology) from the University of Waterloo. He is currently a professor of biology, forestry, and environmental management at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and holds the Cloverleaf/NBDNR Professorship in Recreational Fisheries.
He has been the Director of the Canadian Rivers Institute since 2004. His research interests and publications span a diversity of freshwater, estuary, and coral reef sciences including the ecology of fishes, food webs and ecosystems, and rivers and their landscapes. Underlying his science is the philosophy that understanding physical and biological processes is critical, but societal issues may need answers from science today.
Michele A Sam
R. Allen Curry
Connecting Science to Action
Through the Living Lakes Canada network, organizations connect to collaborate in the monitoring, protection, restoration and policy development for long-term protection of Canada’s water bodies. We focus on watershed protection through the following areas:
- Citizen science and Community-based watershed monitoring (CBM)
- Innovative policy and management planning
- Protection of sensitive or critical freshwater ecosystems
- Watershed awareness and stewardship education
- Sustainable water use
- Restoration of degraded watersheds