Maps, new water data & monitoring experience for an Indigenous community

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Banner photo features high elevation monitoring at Talus Lake in August 2023.


Read the web version here.

Flowing into fall

The arrival of fall means our water monitoring field season is winding down. It’s the season to report, assess accomplishments, and celebrate successes. 

In this spirit, we were pleased to learn that the Canadian Museum of Nature has recognized our water stewardship efforts and selected Living Lakes as a finalist in the 10th annual Nature Inspiration Awards in the not-for-profit organization (small and medium) category. We’ve also been announced as the winner of the North American Lake Management Society’s Appreciation Award for Advancements in Lake Management Technologies. 

A significant factor in reaching these achievements is the invaluable collaborative partnerships we have with Indigenous Peoples in their home territories. The recent National Day for Truth and Reconciliation reaffirms our own commitment to applied Reconciliation through supporting the vision our Indigenous partners have for water stewardship..

Check out the rest of the newsletter to learn more about recent success stories and be inspired this fall.

Archival image showing an intact riparian zone prior to the sawmill construction.

Mapping the way to restore an old sawmill site

Empowering community groups with essential mapping of watersheds 

With the arrival of logging to the Slocan Valley in the early 20th century, one sawmill set its sights on the mouth of Springer Creek. Once a thriving aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem, the lower portion of Springer Creek experienced a steep ecological decline with the sawmill construction. The impacts are still visible today. 

Learn how a community mapping program is helping to tell the story of Springer Creek and guide future restoration efforts.

Living Lakes Canada’s Sophie Gonthier delivers training on the Hope Slough.
Living Lakes Canada’s Sophie Gonthier delivers training on the Hope Slough.

Hope for green waters

Sqwá First Nation looks to water quality monitoring

Thick with algae and nearly as green as the vegetation growing along its shoreline, the Hope Slough, also called the Hope River, creeps through the City of Chilliwack and into the Fraser River. Historically, the Hope Slough supported a biodiverse and healthy ecosystem before algae choked its waters.

A recent water quality monitoring training equipped a keen group of youth and adult members of the Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation to better understand the state of this river with future restoration efforts in mind. Read the full story about the training, the participants’ experiences and the Hope Slough.

Living Lakes Canada’s lake level monitoring equipment at Slocan Lake in the Mid-Columbia Kootenay region.

New water data sheds light on climate impacts in local watersheds

Considered one of North America’s most important water towers, the Canadian Columbia Basin supplies fresh water to millions of people downstream in both Canada and the United States. But climate change is changing the Columbia Basin’s historically steady water supply. 

Since the fall of 2022, 27 new monitoring sites have been collecting data across two sub-regions of the Basin as part of Living Lakes Canada’s large-scale monitoring program. Based on data collected up to June 2023, the program has already gained a better understanding of how surface-level climate events are impacting important freshwater sources and waterways.

Mitchell Brown won Public Favourite in the Lake Landscape category for capturing the vibrant glacial waters of Moraine Lake, Alberta.

National Photo Challenge winners capture Canada’s Lake Biodiversity

Public and Judges’ Favourites announced

Images that show the wonder of natural lakescapes, glimpses into the homes of wildlife, and intimate moments of people in nature perfectly describe the photos submitted to the recently completed 3rd Annual Lake Biodiversity Photo Challenge. 

For the first time since the contest was launched in 2020, entries were submitted from every province and territory across the country. With 629 submissions flooding the online gallery, this mosaic of photography perfectly captures the spirit of lakes in Canada. 

View the stunning selection of Public Favourites, selected through 1,609 votes cast online, and Judges’ Favourites! 

Our Current Reads

Common Loon on Bluey Lake, B.C. Photo by Alan Smith, 2022 Lake Biodiversity Photo Challenge.
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