STREAM sampling is flowing forward
The STREAM program is continuing to move forward with the field season and monitoring. We have been collaborating with 2019 Year 1 participants virtually to ensure they are confident and ready to hit the streams and collect their Year 2 samples.
All of the 2019 priority watershed participants are collecting samples again this year including Environmental Stewardship Initiative Nation representatives in the Skeena, Blueberry River First Nation in the Peace-Athabasca, various stewardship groups in the Columbia Basin, Watershed Planning Advisory Committees along the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies and the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee in Great Lakes, Northern Lake Huron.
Although our 2020 field season got off to a late start to give us time to adhere to social distancing protocols, participants were eager to get into the streams and learn about benthic macroinvertebrates. On September 1 and 2, Living Lakes Canada hosted a STREAM-CABIN training in Coleman, Alberta. This was a closed course to keep participant numbers low and included representatives from the Oldman Watershed Council, Athabasca Watershed Council, North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, Blood Tribe and the Elk River Alliance.
The STREAM project is helping the Oldman Watershed Council assess their river restoration area success. The restoration was to promote off-road vehicles to use provided bridges rather than in-stream crossings ,which leads to increased sedimentation events and riparian slope destabilization. This CABIN course was also part of an Eastern Slopes collaborative that will engage multiple stakeholders in creating a CABIN/DNA reference model for the Eastern Slopes. This project is timely with the Alberta Government rescinding the Coal Policy, which allows open-pit coal mining in the headwaters along the Eastern Slopes.
Living Lakes Canada also led a course with the Binche Whut’en First Nation near Fort St. James (blog and video coming soon). This course was held September 14 to 18 on the Binche Keyoh. Living Lakes Canada collaborated with the Firelight Group on this training to identify water values and build a water monitoring program for the Nation. This course was Living Lakes Canada final CABIN field certification course for 2020.
Stay tuned in Spring 2021 to learn about where the next STREAM-CABIN training will be. In other CABIN news, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Rivers Institute CABIN field certifications and online modules will remain closed until Spring 2021.