Action for Healthy Watersheds

Action for Healthy Watersheds
Action for Healthy Watersheds is aimed at educating and empowering local community-groups and governments to protect their watersheds from climate impacts through effective water stewardship.

Action for Healthy Watersheds

Key Takeaways:

  1. Empower: Action for Healthy Watersheds will empower community-groups and local indigenous and non-indigenous governments to be proactive in addressing the challenges facing their waters including impacts from climate change.
  2. Connect: Through the program, Living Lakes Canada will connect community-based water monitoring groups to collaborate on improving watershed health in Canada.
  3. Support: The overarching goal of the Action for the Healthy Watersheds program is to provide support and guidance to communities in the protection of their watersheds through shared resources, tools, and training and workshop opportunities.


The goal of the Action for Healthy Watersheds Program is to support and build capacity for communities across Canada in the protection of their watershed.

Some objectives of the program are to: 

  • Braiding Indigenous systems of knowledge and western science in our approaches.
  • Empowering emerging and established stewardship groups by providing resources, training opportunities and workshops, network connections, support and guidance.

Living Lakes Canada will lead the development of watershed monitoring programs, and build long-term capacity by offering resources, tools, and specific training to water stewards. This will result in the creation of partnerships and collaborations addressing specific watershed concerns of water security, the promotion of climate adaptation, while also educating and raising awareness about the overall health of watersheds in Canada.


Water Monitoring Equipment Fund: 

During the 2021 Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN) Annual General Meeting held on April 27th, 2022, the motion was made to officially dissolve the network in accordance with provincial Societies Act requirements. The remaining CBWN programs have been adopted by Living Lakes Canada to continue the momentum built by the network. One of the programs continued by Living Lakes Canada under Action for Healthy Watersheds is the Water Monitoring Equipment Fund. 

The Water Monitoring Equipment Fund aims to support water stewardship groups in purchasing new monitoring equipment, or calibration solutions, replacing unsuitable monitoring equipment, and maintaining or fixing existing equipment. Last February, Living Lakes Canada launched the call for application for the 2023 Water Monitoring Equipment Fund. A total of 11 water stewardship groups within the Columbia Basin are currently being supported by the program, 10 of which are located in Canada and 1 in the United States. You can read more about the 2023 Equipment Fund here

Summer Mapping Interns: 

In partnership with the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre at Selkirk College, Living Lakes Canada is currently running the 2023 Summer Mapping program. Mapping watersheds and aquatic ecosystems can help inform decision-making, guide stewardship efforts, and grow watershed awareness. Through this program, a supervised GIS co-op student will develop easy-to-interpret and beautiful maps that can help communicate complex watershed information and grow a better understanding of local watersheds. This summer, 8 stewardship groups are pursuing summer mapping projects in their communities. 

Workshop and trainings: 

  • Water Quality Monitoring Training: 

In collaboration with the Stó:lō Nation, Sqwá First Nations, and the British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS), Living Lakes Canada is delivering a 3-day water quality monitoring training this August, 2023 in Chilliwack, B.C. Through this program participants will learn about freshwater ecosystems, develop the skills to use water monitoring equipment and field techniques, and explore their relationships with water. This training is open to all Sqwá Community members. After the training, Living Lakes Canada will continue supporting Sqwá First Nations in the development of their water monitoring program. 

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop: 

In partnership with the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS), Living Lakes Canada co-hosted a half-day invasive species workshop and weed pull on July 20, 2023 in Nelson B.C. The workshop covered the following: Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) 101 - what they are, impacts, and how they spread, Best Management Practices when working/playing around water to prevent the spread, and AIS identification, management, and weed pulling. 

Friends of Cherry Creek Stewardship Initiative: 

Friends of Cherry Creek (FCC) is a local stewardship group whose purpose is to advocate for the protection of water and promote water conservation for all species in the Cherry Creek watershed, now and for generations to come.

Living Lakes Canada is providing support and guidance to FCC to help them achieve their goals of developing an understanding of the conservation needs and connectivity of Cherry Creek through mapping and baseline data collection, to foster water stewardship events and activities for residents in the Cherry Creek area, and to educate and strengthen the understanding of the watershed.

FCC aims to bring together local youth from Kimberley and ʔaq̓am, to mentor and teach the importance of water restoration and monitoring through the lens of Ktunaxa-led water stewardship practices, and western science approaches. Living Lakes Canada will be delivering a 2-day Water Stewardship and Monitoring Training for FCC in October 2023. 

Interested in getting involved with Friends of Cherry Creek? Please reach out to

Resource Library - Under development  

A library of resources intended to educate and support community-based water monitoring groups is currently being developed by Living Lakes Canada. Resources will include information on fundraising, water monitoring equipment, techniques, and water quality parameters, guides on starting and building a stewardship group, and information on training opportunities, workshops, and online education resources.


BC Government, RBC Tech for Nature, Selkirk College, British Columbia Lakes Stewardship Society, Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society, Friends of Cherry Creek


To learn more contact Sophie Gonthier, Program Coordinator:

See Sophie's profile.

Action for Healthy Watersheds

Status - Active


Water Bodies
GroundwaterLakesRivers, Creeks and StreamsWetlands
British ColumbiaColumbia Basin
Community groupsConsultantGovernment – Provincial
Types of Work
Citizen ScienceCommunity Based MonitoringDataMonitoring

Funders & Contributors

RBC Tech for Nature TD Friends of the Environment
Province of British Columbia