STREAM & DNA metabarcoding
STREAM & DNA metabarcoding
- STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring is a new community-based project that involves the collection of benthic macroinvertebrates from rivers across Canada to generate a better understanding of the health of river systems.
- The STREAM project is a validation project for the cutting-edge technology of DNA metabarcoding.
- DNA metabarcoding uses bulk-benthos samples collected via the CABIN methods and gene sequencing linked to DNA/RNA barcode libraries to allow for faster, more complete profile of biodiversity content from very small samples.
DNA metabarcoding is an emerging tool for monitoring present biodiversity. DNA metabarcoding uses bulk-benthos samples collected via the CABIN methods and gene sequencing linked to DNA/RNA barcode libraries to allow for faster, more complete profile of biodiversity content from very small samples.
This is a made-in-Canada technology and now has the opportunity to move beyond proof of concept to demonstrating the possible. The STREAM project is a validation project for the cutting-edge technology of DNA metabarcoding.
STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring is a new community-based project that involves the collection of benthic macroinvertebrates from rivers across Canada to generate a better understanding of the health of river systems. 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.
In 2019, the University of Guelph received a $2.6 million grant from Genome Canada to support DNA metabarcoding sample analysis of benthic macroinvertebrates for three years. The goal is to collect 1,500 samples in partnership with community-based water monitors across Canada and provide sample analysis for free. Training in the modified DNA specific CABIN methods will be provided in 15 nationally distributed watersheds (5 watersheds per year from 2019-2021) based on data deficiencies and local capacity.
Year 1 of the STREAM project focused on 5 priority watersheds: the Columbia, Skeena, Peace/Athabasca in British Columbia, the Bow Valley in Alberta and Sudbury in Ontario.
Year 2 of the project was delayed due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, but focused on 2 additional priority watersheds: The Upper Fraser-Nechako and the Upper South Saskatchewan. We also supported Year 1 participants with collecting and shipping their Year 2 samples.
The following trainings are taking place in 2021 for Year 3:
- Nelson, BC June 15-16
- Rocky Mountain House, AB June 19-23
- Kenora, ON August 6-9
- Thunder Bay, ON August 9-13
- Fort Nelson, BC August 25-29
- Buick, BC August 30-September 3
- Whitehorse, YT September 7-10
- Ottawa, ON September 27-30
- Invermere, BC October 11-15
To learn more about the program, look for the following recordings under Resources in the right hand column:
- A film about the STREAM project that was released on March 22, 2020 for World Water Day.
- A discussion about WWF-Canada's 2020 Watershed Reports and the role of STREAM hosted by WWF-Canada's Freshwater Specialist Catherine Paquette and Living Lakes Canada Program Manager Raegan Mallinson, that aired on November 9, 2020.
- A three-part webinar hosted by Living Lakes Canada in spring 2021 to introduce the STREAM project to anyone interested in community-based water monitoring.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
This project uses an updated version of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol, developed by ECCC, to collect the benthics, which are the small animals on the bottom of streams. Benthic invertebrates are strong indicators of water quality since some are highly sensitive to pollutants and other changes that impact aquatic ecosystem health.
Living Lakes Canada trains and certifies interested organizations using the adapted CABIN protocol and assists interested organizations in their first year of sampling, offering knowledge in site selection and monitoring. The organizations then commit to maintaining the project in later years, uploading results to the CABIN database and sharing data in open platforms.
Participants learn and build skills for stream health assessments, open sourced data inputs and access while using new, more cost-effective technology.
PAST FIELD SEASONS
The 2018 field season, LLC was in the Liard, BC watershed in Northern B.C. (Canada's ninth largest watershed) working in partnership with the Dane Nan Yḗ Dāh Guardians to establish a biomonitoring program and host a two-day Program Manager/Field Tech CABIN field practicum. There was also a training in the Skeena watershed, Smithers, BC for a Field Assistant level CABIN practicum in partnership with the Environmental Stewardship Initiative of BC.
The 2017 Field Season included:
- Sunshine Coast Biomonitoring and eDNA Pilot Project
- Central Ottawa Biomonitoring and eDNA Pilot Project
We are encouraging anyone interested in understanding the health of their river or stream system to contact us to learn more about the STREAM project. There are multiple levels of possible participation.
If you are interested in collaborating to support the understanding of Canada’s rivers health please email Living Lakes Canada Program Manager Raegan Mallinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
STREAM PRESENTATIONS BY OUR TEAM
- WWF-Canada’s Wildlife Wednesday Facebook Live: Benthic Invertebrates (2020)
- BC Lake Stewardship Society Conference: Understanding BC Lakes in Changing times — Lake Country, BC (2019)
- CABIN Science Forum — Yellowknife, NWT (2019)
- NWT Water Stewardship Strategy Workshop — Dettah, NWT (2019)
- Living Lakes International Conference - Valencia, Spain (2018)
- Environmental Stewardship Initiative Project proposal - Smithers, BC (2018)
- Bow River Basin Council - Quarterly Educational Forum - Calgary, AB (2018)
Status - Active
|Rivers, Creeks and Streams|
|AlbertaBritish ColumbiaColumbia BasinNationalOntario|
|AcademiaCommunity groupsFNGovernment – Federal|
|Types of Work|
|CABINCitizen ScienceCommunity Based MonitoringDataMonitoringProtocol Development|
News and Updates
- Teaching citizen scientists to hunt for ‘canary in the coal mine’ in Alberta’s rivers – The Narwhal, Aug 7 2021
- Training to train others in community-based water monitoring – Living Lakes Canada, Jul 31 2021
- Dipping my toes into aquatic biomonitoring and swiftwater rescue training – Living Lakes Canada, Jul 21 2021
- STREAM-CABIN trainings taking place across Canada this summer – Living Lakes Canada, Jun 28 2021
- Up-to-date stats on STREAM plus upcoming Webinar Series – Living Lakes Canada, Mar 15 2021
- STREAM program paused, closed CABIN trainings continue – Living Lakes Canada, Jun 22 2020
- LLC joins rest of STREAM team at biomonitoring lab – Living Lakes Canada, Feb 24 2020
- The Quality of our Water – Water Canada Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020
- STREAM Information Handout: How the STREAM program works (2021)
- Combining DNA and people power for healthy rivers: Implementing the STREAM community-based approach for global freshwater monitoring (2021)
- STREAM Frequently Asked Questions (2020)
- STREAM Webinar Series: Introduction to STREAM (2021)
- STREAM Webinar Series: Featured Case Studies (2021)
- STREAM Webinar Series: Indigenous-led STREAM projects (2021)
- Webinar: Discover Canada's Watershed Health - The Watershed Reports 2020 Live
- Film: People Power for Healthy Rivers: DNA Technology Meets Citizen Science in STREAM (2020)