Conference draws attention to impacted B.C. lakes

Living Lakes Canada attended and presented at the BC Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) Annual Conference – Understanding BC Lakes in Changing Times — that was held in Winfield, BC from October 4-6, 2019. 

The conference brought together experts around the province to discuss how climate impacts and pressures on B.C. lakes can be addressed and what can be done to preserve, protect and restore the lakes we love.

Dr. Ken Ashley, BCIT Rivers Institute

Living Lakes Canada shared information on using community-based water monitoring to understand watersheds. Year 1 milestones of the STREAM project were presented, including building momentum for a national community-based water monitoring project using the emerging technology of DNA metabarcoding in 5 watersheds across Canada.

Other LLC projects shared included Foreshore Inventory Mapping and Shoreline Development Guidance for Columbia Basin Species at Risk, Upper Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program and the Roundtable for Community-based Water Monitoring.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Ken Ashley, BCIT Rivers Institute, who spoke about the effects of climate change on lakes and fisheries, and the need to get non-point source pollutants under control to stop eutrophication of small, shallow B.C. lakes. Ashley also warned of the warming climate and the tipping of feedback loops that have already shown to have serious damage on the health of many B.C. lakes. He shared his technologies for reversing these impacts — a step, but only a band-aid to the larger problem.

Participants who attended the conference heard from experts about flood mitigation and the importance and possibilities of naturalizing shorelines; the Love Your Lake program, developed in Ontario and being implemented on Okanagan Lake; invasive mussels and the economic risk; and the provincial stewardship network and the rules of engagement. A local research study was shared on large powerboat impacts on stormwater contaminated sediments and a reminder about the importance of observational data while in the field (“follow your senses”).

Living Lakes Canada is a proud member of the BC Lake Stewardship Society. For more information on the BC Lake Stewardship Society and the great programs they offer — including LakeKeepers — visit their website: https://www.bclss.org/

 

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