Our work continues despite COVID-19 pandemic

 In News

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Living Lakes Canada is maintaining our efforts to protect fresh water sources. The modifications we are implementing for each program are listed below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. 

General Operations

The Living Lakes Canada team continues to work diligently to deliver all of our projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team members are all working and staying connected online. Program Managers have adapted their projects to ensure current physical distancing protocols are adhered to. We are building innovative partnerships and creating online synergies to help diversify and increase the efficiencies of resources. We continue to stay positive and strong with our team and in our work during these vulnerable times. Our priority always has been, and will continue to be, the protection and stewardship of freshwater in Canada. We thank you all for your partnerships, collaborations and continued support in our efforts to protect the freshwater ecosystems that sustain us all.

~Executive Director Kat Hartwig: kat@livinglakescanada.ca


To minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the communities in which we live, work and play, we implemented new protocols for CABIN courses during the 2020 field season. Courses were successfully run and included sanitization and closed courses with smaller course sizes. We are continuing to tentatively plan for the 2021 field season and will be following the same framework as 2020. We will continue to follow provincial guidelines and restrictions in order to determine if we can safely and effectively run courses. We have started a waitlist for training needs. If your organization is interested in training, please send us an inquiry email.

~STREAM/CABIN Program Manager Raegan Mallinson: raegan@livinglakescanada.ca

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning

For the remainder of the fiscal year, the Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP) Program will be entirely office-based. That is, there is no more field work or events planned therefore the risk of Program-related activities contributing to the spread of COVID-19 is greatly reduced. For example, the core Program Team, Bruce Mac Donald and Ryan Cloutier, have not seen each other in person since the summer. However, they continue to have weekly meetings virtually. As for others involved, consultants are predominantly working from a home office or are following their organization’s COVID precautions if working in a shared office. With vaccinations becoming available to British Columbians, the FIMP Program Team is looking forward to connecting more in person.

~FIMP Acting Program Manager Ryan Cloutier: ryan@livinglakescanada.ca

Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program

Despite COVID-19, the Groundwater Program was able to visit all of the Volunteer Observation Wells in late fall 2020!  This was possible due to our Program partners, such as well owners and regional technicians, and by following social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols. The regional technicians and some of the well owners  were able to conduct site visits and collect manual water level measurements and download data loggers, reducing the need for our team to travel. Through the winter our work was primarily office-based and involved reviewing and analyzing last year’s data.

~Groundwater Program Manager Carol Luttmer: carol@livinglakescanada.ca

Columbia Basin Water Hub

On the anniversary of the pandemic we want to take this moment to thank everyone who has attended all of our Zoom meetings, and looked at screens for much longer than needed. This year has been full of challenges, but thankfully the Water Hub’s team is able to work remotely and keep others safe by doing so at the same time. We are also mindful however to encourage our team to go outside for a walk, and other healthy habits to keep ourselves well during these interesting times. We are excited to be able to provide water data, as well as data management solutions, for the Columbia Basin, and to be able to connect with everyone, even if it’s through a screen. We look forward to the days where we can safely enjoy big conferences once again and hold live demonstrations of the Water Hub. For now, we will keep you posted as we prepare resources to share with you and ways in which we can all safely connect through water data.

~ Water Hub Database Manager Santiago Botero: santiago@livinglakescanada.ca

Kootenay Watershed Science

After a year of operating in a pandemic we are proud to say KWS is really getting the hang of this! We have reduced our field crews, we operate in bubbles on our remote projects, and we just presented at a wonderful online conference complete with virtual break out rooms and lounges. Similar to most organizations we have replaced most of our in-person meetings and presentations with online versions. It has been a bit of a learning curve but is now working smoothly. Using our adapted methods we have been successful in all our planned work this year and have far exceeded our plans for online data releases, social networking, and building partnerships through online interactions and workshops. While we are looking forward to getting together in real life with our colleagues and partners, we have learned a lot from this period and look forward to applying those lessons learned in the future to minimize unnecessary travel, and work and meet efficiently.

~Program Hydrologist Paul Saso: paul@livinglakescanada.ca



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