Fort St. John/Dawson Creek STREAM Training Practicum

Dates: August 27 - 28 2019
Type: training
Location: Fort St. John/Dawson Creek area, BC, Canada
Phone: 250-505-4311
Email: raegan@livinglakescanada.ca

This 2-day field practicum will be held in the Fort St. John/Dawson Creek area on August 27 & 28, 2019. This training is currently CLOSED to the public. Please contact us at the end of July to find out if any spaces become available. 

STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) DNA, is a new community-based project which involves the collection of samples for eDNA metabarcoding analysis from rivers across Canada. STREAM is a collaboration between Living Lakes Canada (LLC) World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the University of Guelph. The project is collaborating with interested partners including community and water stewardship groups, academia, Indigenous communities, all levels of government, and industry to collect data for stream health.

Living Lakes Canada CABIN field course with Dene Kayeh Institute & Guardians.

This project uses an updated version of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol, developed by ECCC to collect samples using biomonitoring of benthic invertebrates, or the small animals on the bottom of the stream. Benthic invertebrates are strong indicators of water quality since the small organisms included in that group are highly sensitive to pollutants and other changes that impact aquatic ecosystem health.

For more information on levels of training, costs (price varies depending on level of certification), modules and other training locations visit the Canadian Rivers Institute.

Participants will be certified in the traditional CABIN protocol and learn new eDNA collection techniques.

Participants will be supported to collect bulk DNA samples in their watersheds for the STREAM project post training.

To register: email Raegan Mallinson (raegan@livinglakescanada.ca)

Canmore STREAM Training Practicum

Dates: July 16 - 17 2019
Times: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Mountain Time (MT)
Type: training
Cost: $375
Location: Canmore, AB, Canada
Phone: 250-505-4311
Email: raegan@livinglakescanada.ca

This 2-day field practicum will be held in Canmore, AB on July 16 & 17.

STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) DNA, is a new community-based project which involves the collection of samples for eDNA metabarcoding analysis from rivers across Canada. STREAM is a collaboration between Living Lakes Canada (LLC) World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the University of Guelph. The project is collaborating with interested partners including community and water stewardship groups, academia, Indigenous communities, all levels of government, and industry to collect data for stream health.

Living Lakes Canada CABIN field course with Dene Kayeh Institute & Guardians.

This project uses an updated version of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol, developed by ECCC to collect samples using biomonitoring of benthic invertebrates, or the small animals on the bottom of the stream. Benthic invertebrates are strong indicators of water quality since the small organisms included in that group are highly sensitive to pollutants and other changes that impact aquatic ecosystem health.

For more information on levels of training, costs (price varies depending on level of certification), modules and other training locations visit the Canadian Rivers Institute.

Participants will be certified in the traditional CABIN protocol and learn new eDNA collection techniques.

Participants will be supported to collect bulk DNA samples in their watersheds for the STREAM project post training.

To register: email Raegan Mallinson (raegan@livinglakescanada.ca)

June 2019 News Stream

“Wetlands are one of the most significant ecosystems on the planet. They provide rich habitat for biodiversity and help mitigate the impacts of climate change. We need to take their preservation more seriously. Protecting the world’s wetlands is much more cost effective than trying to restore them. In collaboration with all sectors of civil society, we have the opportunity to preserve the integrity of the world’s remaining wetlands.”

~ Living Lakes Executive Director Kat Hartwig, from the Living Lakes 15th International Conference on Lakes & Wetlands

Web link: https://mailchi.mp/a75466fad326/living-lakes-canada-news-stream-march-606179

Columbia Basin Water Collaborative taking shape

By Avery Deboer-Smith (Living Lakes Canada Program Coordinator) and Rory Gallaugher (Living Lakes Canada Hydrometric Technologist)

On June 18th, the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative’s Steering Committee met in Nelson, BC to provide feedback and guidance on the monitoring framework. The face-to-face meeting had 21 steering committee members, some coming from as far away as Winnipeg.

The Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative is the current iteration of the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework and Data Hub Initiative that got underway in November 2017 when Living Lakes Canada co-hosted the Cracking the Code in 3D: Water Data Hub and Monitoring Framework conference to envision a Water Monitoring Framework for the Columbia Basin. The conference was a follow up to the 2017 CBT report by Dr. Martin Carver titled Water Monitoring and Climate in the Upper Columbia Basin: Summary of Current Status and Opportunities in order to set the stage for a coordinated water data collection and applied decision making for the Basin.

Presented at the meeting was the research conducted on the database platforms that would best suit the Collaborative’s needs. Progress was made on all agenda items with direction provided by the steering committee for:

  • outlining the specifications of the database by requesting that a wireframe of the database’s functionality be developed,
  • determining scope of the monitoring that will be conducted and the criteria for selecting sites, and
  • the data governance structure.

The committee’s feedback will be incorporated to ensure outcomes are reflective of the diverse groups represented. The Collaborative guidance document will be published by September 2019 once the final draft has been reviewed.

This 50-member collaborative is guided by a cross sector of civil society representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous community, all levels of government, academia and industry, and is funded in part by:

  • Real Estate Foundation of BC
  • Columbia Basin Trust
  • Vancouver Foundation
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Sitka Foundation
  • Tides Canada

Lake foreshore preservation success through SHIM

 

Last month, the B.C. Government turned down a proposal for a 90-berth moorage facility on Lake Windermere in the East Kootenay.

Local newspaper The Columbia Valley Pioneer reported four reasons for the decision:

  1. The first was unmitigated environmental concerns:
    • the marina was proposed in a key habitat area,
    • there was insufficient evidence provided by a qualified environmental professional,
    • and an environmental mitigation strategy or management plan was not provided by the proponent.
  2. The second was impacts to public use, asserting the public would gain no social or economic benefit from such a structure.
  3. The third was First Nations considerations: that the proposed facility would have adverse impacts on Aboriginal interests.
  4. Lastly, that a Land Act authorization would not provide authority to remove private buoys, with no evidence indicating that locating a group moorage facility would result in a reduction in the number of private buoys.

Environmental concerns cited that the marina is in key habitat area, which is known because of the work of the East Kootenay Integrated Lake Management Partnership (EKILMP).

EKILMP completed a Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) project on Lake Windermere where shoreline habitat values were assessed, and risk ratings were determined for common shoreline activities. The habitat value for the area in question was determined to be “orange”, and therefore a marina development would pose high risk to fish and wildlife habitat.

READ MORE ABOUT THE DECISION HERE

Living Lakes Canada, which served as Chair for the EKILMP for 8 years, congratulates the EKILMP and its partners for producing Shoreline Development Guidelines that identify key habitat areas for fish and wildlife, and guide shoreline development activities to protect the areas of highest ecological value.

VISIT THE EKILMP WEBSITE

Similar Shoreline Development Guidelines have been created for 13 lakes, rivers and reservoirs across the Columbia Basin.

2019 Nelson CABIN field practicum largest training yet

 

Living Lakes Canada (LLC) delivered its first CABIN training course of the 2019 field season in Nelson on June 12-13 using an adapted CABIN protocol to include eDNA analysis. The collection of eDNA from rivers across Canada is part of the new community-based project called STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring), which is a collaboration between Living Lakes Canada, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the University of Guelph to collect data for stream health assessments. Learn more HERE

By LLC Program Manager Raegan Mallison

The Nelson 2019 CABiN field practicum was a success! The course drew 18 participants, the largest course Living Lakes Canada has ever led both in the Nelson area and across Canada.

Participants came from great distances including Utah and Alaska to join the course. We had local stewardship groups join including the staff from Friends of Kootenay Lake, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. We had participants from industry, academia- professors and students and environmental consultants join us.

The range of experience was across the board, with some being familiar with the CABiN protocol and even helping to assist with monitoring prior to this training, and others brand new to field work.

We were fortunate to have Allison Lutz with Selkirk College join us to assist with teaching and learning the new DNA metabarcoding field techniques and decontamination protocols.

Three Living Lakes Canada summer interns were able to join us for the course. The summer interns will be assisting outreach and logistics planning to support the STREAM project and supporting CABiN users to submit benthic samples for DNA metabarcoding free of charge, not only in the Columbia Basin but across other priority watersheds this field season including: Skeena, Peace/Athabasca, Bow Valley, Alberta and Sudbury, Ontario.

We are excited to have them on board! Welcome Ashley Dubois, Kyle Prince and Lindsay Capito. For more information, check out their profiles on the About Us page on our website under “Team”. Read their first person accounts of participating in their STREAM training below.

We want to send out a big thank you to all those that participated in the 2019 Nelson CABiN training. For other CABiN field practicums this year please visit the LLC website for locations, dates and how to register.

Ashley Dubois, Living Lakes Canada Summer Intern

I am currently a fourth year student at the University of Alberta where I’m working towards a BSc majoring in Biology. The two day CABIN field course in Nelson, BC provided me with a great foundation for aquatic biomonitoring. I know learning the protocol for proper water chemistry sampling and benthic invertebrate collection will benefit me in the future for a range of career paths. There were many people attending the course who had extended knowledge and experience in the aquatics field. This provided an opportunity for networking and brainstorming about aquatics. That being said, I was one among many others who had little to no experience in the field, so this course is truly for anyone interested, regardless of prior experience. The instructors were extremely kind and approachable, as well as knowledgeable, providing a fun learning atmosphere for all participants. After the two days of CABIN field training, I now feel confident and excited to apply my new knowledge to my summer position with Living Lakes Canada.

Kyle Prince, Living Lakes Canada Summer Intern

The CABIN field course in Nelson, B.C. last week was a great way to consolidate all the information I learned during the online modules. It was awesome to have knowledgeable and experienced instructors to interact with and clarify any uncertainties. It was also great to finally get to outside and practice the skills required to complete a proper CABIN study. I enjoyed the wide variety of participants including consultants, NGO employees, professors, and some students too! It was a positive and engaged group which enhanced the course experience. I am excited to use my new certification and get back into the creeks as soon as possible.

Journey to Spain: Perspectives, Passion, and Paella

The venue for the 15th International Conference on Lakes & Wetlands in Valencia, Spain. LLC Photo

By Kootenay Lake Partnership Chair Jayme Jones

In May 2019, Valencia, Spain became the world capital of wetlands when they hosted the Living Lakes 15th International Conference on Lakes and Wetlands. As one of the five Living Lakes Canada members who travelled to Spain to attend, there are three key themes from the conference that stood out to me.

Perspectives. This was the first international conference I have attended that was broadly represented with delegates from around the world. The 200 delegates from 41 countries brought diverse perspectives that really increased my understanding on the state of water systems from every corner of this planet. I heard about peatland management in the Broads of England. I heard about the pollution in Lake Chapala – Mexico’s largest natural lake. I heard about projects to strengthen the condition of St. Lucia wetland in South Africa. Each of these perspectives share a commonality we all face: our water systems are challenged by alterations we have made to them. However, there are things we can do improve the situation.

Passion. There was so much passion shared about the projects that the various delegates are working on to improve their local waterbodies. A delegate from India shared a passionate story about her success in working with communities to restore mangroves in 4,500 hectares of important river mud flats. Not only does this project help sequester carbon dioxide to reduce the impact of climate change. It also empowers women to be Mangrove Stewards to support their livelihoods.  A delegate from Columbia shared a passionate story about his organization’s efforts to create green filters to reduce the domestic wastewater inflow to Lake Fúquene. Each conference delegate was passionate about some specific way to protect water.

The Albufera Ramsar Site. LLC Photo

Paella. Our Spanish hosts gave us a wonderful experience of the local Spanish culture. We had many opportunities to eat the traditional dish of Spain – Paella. Paella is a delicious dish of rice and seafood that is accompanied by a cold Spanish beer. It wasn’t just the Spanish food we were able to experience; we also explored a significant wetland near Valencia called L’Albufera. The Albufera is a managed freshwater lagoon and estuary. It was declared a Ramsar Site in 1990 as a wetland of international importance to birds. The Albufera is surrounded by rice fields that have altered the landscape for centuries. We visited an exciting project within the Albufera that successfully reclaimed some rice fields into wetland habitat. Not only has this reclaimed wetland increased the biodiversity of the landscape, it has also played a key role in purifying the water quality of the lagoon.

Participating in the Living Lakes International conference provided a global vision of water challenges and success stories. The entire Living Lakes Canada team built strong connections with the delegates from around the world. These connections will provide important opportunities for strategic alliances with water stewards around the world. Together, we can do more to conserve the world’s waterbodies, and so we will.

Jayme Jones is a former Program Coordinator for Living Lakes Canada. She now works as a Research Assistant for Selkirk College. 

East Kootenay lakes sampled for long-term trends

Ice-off sampling on Moyie Lake, B.C. LWA Photo

By Shannon McGinty, Lake Windermere Ambassadors Program Coordinator

During the spring freshet of 2019 the Lake Windermere Ambassadors had an opportunity to learn from experienced stewards with the BC Lakes Stewardship Society (BCLSS).

BCLSS was tasked by the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy to conduct standardized ice off sampling on three lakes in the East Kootenays: Lake Windermere, Columbia Lake, and Moyie Lake. This is part of the larger Long-Term Lake Trends Project.

The Ambassadors’ involvement in the project came about when BCLSS reached out to see if we would be interested in partnering for this sampling. As the Ambassador Program Coordinator, I worked with BCLSS President Norm Zirnhelt to coordinate volunteers and equipment prior to sampling, conduct the sampling, and ship the samples off to the lab. Coordination work consisted of:

  • Monitoring the lakes for melting trends
  • Setting a sampling date within two weeks of ice off for all the lakes (harder than it sounds!)
  • Finding and working with volunteers to operate boats on each lake
  • Gathering and ordering required equipment

After coordinating and the lakes melting, we were then able to conduct the sampling. We sampled Lake Windermere and Columbia Lake on April 19th and Moyie Lake on April 20th. Sampling consisted of:

  • Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature, Specific Conductance, and pH Field Profiles (taken every metre up to 20m and every 5 metres thereafter)
  • Sechi and Site Depths
  • Epilimnion and Hypolimnion samples for
  • Phosphorous
  • Nitrogen
  • Sulfate
  • Metals
  • Total Organic Compounds
  • Dissolved Organic Compounds
  • Silica Reactive Dissolve
  • Turbidity
  • Chloride
  • Phytoplankton
  • Zooplankton

The Ambassadors were able to participate in this program by allowing myself as Program Coordinator to contract out to the BCLSS partnership with Living Lakes Canada (LLC).

This provides great value to the Ambassadors as it allows for their staff member to audit their sampling skills and stay up to date on sampling methods by connecting with a professional who has over 30 years of experience in this field.

The timing of this project was perfect as I had just started with the Ambassadors in December 2018, and was about to begin my first sampling season in May 2019, immediately following the hands-on training with BCLSS.

Although the Ambassadors don’t sample all of the parameters sampled on a weekly basis, there was a lot of overlap in methods of collection and monthly sample collections that has been (and continues to be) useful for the 2019 sampling season.

The results from this project have been made public for all users to access through the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy website. The Ambassadors use this data to supplement our own Spring Freshet sampling.

Needs addressed through this project include:

  • In-person contact for training and other aspects of lake management
  • Lake monitoring training and assistance designing an appropriate monitoring program
  • Auditing to correct monitoring procedure issues and maintain quality assurance of data

To learn more about the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and to contact Shannon McGinty, visit their website: www.lakeambassadors.ca

 

Smithers STREAM Training Practicum

Dates: June 24 - 25 2019
Start Time: 8:00 am Pacific Time (PT)
Type: training
Location: Smithers, BC, Canada
Phone: 250-505-4311
Email: raegan@livinglakescanada.ca

The 2-day field practicum will be held in Smithers, BC June 24 & 25.

STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) DNA, is a new community-based project which involves the collection of samples for eDNA metabarcoding analysis from rivers across Canada. STREAM is a collaboration between Living Lakes Canada (LLC) World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the University of Guelph. The project is collaborating with interested partners including community and water stewardship groups, academia, Indigenous communities, all levels of government, and industry to collect data for stream health.

Living Lakes Canada CABIN field course with Dene Kayeh Institute & Guardians.

This project uses an updated version of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol, developed by ECCC to collect samples using biomonitoring of benthic invertebrates, or the small animals on the bottom of the stream. Benthic invertebrates are strong indicators of water quality since the small organisms included in that group are highly sensitive to pollutants and other changes that impact aquatic ecosystem health.

For more information on levels of training, costs (price varies depending on level of certification), modules and other training locations visit the Canadian Rivers Institute.

Participants will be certified in the traditional CABIN protocol and learn new eDNA collection techniques.

Participants will be supported to collect bulk DNA samples in their watersheds for the STREAM project post training.

To register: email Raegan Mallinson (raegan@livinglakescanada.ca)

Living Lakes Canada joins global water stewards in Spain

Valencia, Spain – May 15, 2019: Members of the Living Lakes Canada team just finished attending a Living Lakes International Conference in Valencia, Spain. This was a powerful experience that provided a valuable opportunity to listen, learn, and share experiences around water stewardship, especially around wetlands and climate change impacts. This conference was the 20th anniversary celebration of Living Lakes and was attended by over 200 delegates from 41 countries.

Living Lakes Canada team members presenting at the 15th International Conference on Lakes & Wetlands in Spain, starting second from the left: Avery Deboer-Smith, Claire Pollock-Hall, and Raegan Mallinson  LLC Photo

Living Lakes Canada was represented at the conference by Nelson, BC residents Avery Deboer-Smith, Claire Pollock-Hall and Jayme Jones, and Squamish resident Raegan Mallinson (formerly of Nelson).

“These four young women represented the Columbia Basin and spoke to an international delegation about their water stewardship work, sharing what they’re doing at a grassroots regional and national level,” said Living Lakes Canada Executive Director Kat Hartwig, who also attended the conference. “Climate change adaptation measures for wetlands and all the species that depend on them are a global problem and presented a common bond for all the participants.”

The Living Lakes Canada team learned about climate change impacts and water systems around the world, from peat extraction in England releasing carbon emissions to the mining impacts on lakes and wetlands in Mongolia, to how climate change and population pressures have impacted water quality and invasive species resulting in the population decline the manatee population in Malawi, Africa.

There were many positive and innovative solutions and collaborations presented. One example was how an organization in India trained citizen scientists to monitor and assist mangrove reforestation, as well as developed economic incentives to help support the local economies. An organization from Colombia shared success stories about cost-effective green filters developed to improve water quality in locations around the world.

The young delegates left the conference feeling more connected and empowered due to support from the global Living Lakes network, which connects concerned and engaged water stewards from around the world who are addressing water and climate issues.

“The Living Lakes Canada team will continue to work with and learn from water champions from other countries as well as share our citizen science success stories that have taken place right here in the Columbia Basin,” said Hartwig.

“We were very grateful that Kicking Horse Coffee helped support our participation in this important international wetlands conference,” she concluded.

Additional Conference Resources include:
General Meeting Minutes
Keynote Presentations
“Living Lakes Achievements and Goals 2019 – 2025” brochure

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