Category Archives: Preserving rivers in their natural state

ALEXANDRA COUSTEAU ON THE OTTAWA RIVER

COUSTEAU OTTAWA RIVER

ALEX PHOTOAlexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famed oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, was in the Ottawa for a 13-day filmmaking trip to the Ottawa River watershed as part of a project to make three short documentaries on the Ottawa River, in co-operation with the Ottawa Riverkeeper group. Cousteau and    Riverkeeper Meredith Brown took to the water to sample the river near the Hull Marina, testing for oxygen, phosphorus and nitrogen in the water.  The documentary is about the Ottawa River and its tributaries, focusing on issues of waterway management and conservation. 

RIVERKEEPER LOGOIn my previous blog the video, ‘Ottawa River Keeper’ provides historical background and impressive scenery for  today’s video, “Alexandra Cousteau on the Ottawa River”, published on Youtube September 14, 2013.

BLUE LEGACY LOGOAlexandra Cousteau heads the Washington-based Blue Legacy foundation, which is “dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water in order to preserve a healthy planet.”

The three documentaries will be released in the spring of 2014.

 Link ~ … “The goal of our water quality monitoring program is to provide communities with timely, easy-to-understand information on water quality along their reach of the river; MEREDITH BROWNinformation that is surprisingly difficult, if not impossible, to get elsewhere,” says Riverkeeper Meredith Brown. “Not only does this engage communities in protecting the river, they have a right to know what’s in their water.”…

http://www.fondationdegaspebeaubien.org/en/news/alexandra-cousteau-tells-the-story-of-her-10-days-expedition-on-the-ottawa

OTTAWA RIVER KEEPER ~ IMPRESSIVE VIDEO

OTTAWA RIVER

The following video, “Ottawa River Keeper”, was uploaded on Mar. 10, 2008, by Lu Utronki.  This video is designed to bring awareness to the importance of the Ottawa River for sustainability. 

The Ottawa River flows through the provinces of Quebec and Ontario for over 1200 kilometres.  There are almost 2 million people who live throughout the Ottawa River watershed.  To the Algonquin First Nations who lived by its banks and traveled by canoe the river was known as the Kitchi-sippi, meaning “The Great River“.  Visitors such as white water paddlers, fishing enthusiasts and river trippers from around the world looking for a wilderness experience  enjoy the Ottawa River year round.  The Ottawa River is a globally significant river and is part of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence watershed, and is the largest freshwater system in the entire world.

Hope to see you back here for our next blog featuring “Ottawa River Keeper Part 2″ and “Alexandra Cousteau on the Ottawa River” – a Youtube video published this year on September 14th.

RIVER OF LIGHT CELEBRATION ~ ALBERTA, CANADA

WEB SITE COLLAGE

RIVER OF LIGHT LOGOShifting and evolving as it travels to rivers throughout the world, the River of Light has gained local and international recognition through its ability to not only engage communities to participate in the work, but also to highlight the importance of river preservation and water conversation on a global scale.  The River of Light is a world touring art installation by Creatmosphere that combines floating lights, sound and new technologies to celebrate the rivers of the world through public art.

River of Light Art project on the Bow River in Calgary August 2010, Artist: Laurent Louyer.  Photo slideshow to start with video clip of colour changes starting at 1:31 and then a few more images.  Music by Roger Subiranan Mata, “Point of No Return”, available through a creative commons license on http://www.jemendo

RED DEER RIVER2013 marks the 100th birthday of the City of Red Deer and to celebrate this the Red Deer River will become the territory and stage for a series of daylight sculptural and sound installations and night-time light and video interventions that aim to create new Points of View for the community to discover and engage with their city and river.

Web: www.riveroflight.org
The River of Lights: Points of View has been commissioned by the
Central Alberta Historical Society for the Red Deer City Centennial.

Associated link ~http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/river-of-light

CIELAP REPORT ~ “EMERGING CONTAMINANTS”

WHAT MUST WE DO
TO PRESERVE
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PRESERVE THIS???

OUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE???

The following excerpts are taken from a report, “There is No Away: Emerging Contaminants Detected in Water” which was published in the March/April, 2006 edition of Canadian Water Treatment magazine.

CIELAP ICONA report from the Canadian Institute For Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) released during National Pharmacists Awareness Week emphasizes the need for the Canadian GREAT LAKES MAPgovernment and industry to invest mores resources to research the effects of “emerging contaminants: in Canada’s waterways”.  The report makes 11 recommendations about ways to reduce the amount of, and their effects on, one of Canada‘s most valuable resources.

ANNE MITCHELLAnne Mitchell, executive director of CIELAP, said the release of the report was planned to coincide with the industry’s national convention because there are a number of issues related to increasingDISPOSE DRUGS environmental contamination by pharmaceuticals and personal care products.  She was also careful to commend pharmacist for their efforts in keeping unused and wasted drugs out of the water.

SUSAN HOLTZThe report, There is No Away: Emerging Contaminants Detected in Water, was written by Susan Holtz, a policy consultant to CIELAP who  writes on issues related to sustainable development, water and energy.  CIELAP is a not-for-profit research and educational institute dedicated to environmental law, policy analysis and reform.

In writing her  report, Holtz examined the issued of “emerging USGEOLOGICAL SURVEYcontaminants” – a term that originated in a U.S. Geological Survey report.  It refers to the  presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (collectively know as PPCPs) and endocrine-disrupting substances (EDSl) in the Canadian water system.  Holtz warns that the contaminants entering surface, ground and drinking water can have serious environmental and health consequences.  One of the biggest concerns is the issue of resistance to antibiotics and hormonal imbalances due to higher concentrations of EDS.  Of major concern, she says, if the increased use of antibiotics for both the human and animal population.  In Canada, there were 326.2 million prescriptions filled from July 2001 to August 2002.

EMERGING CONTAMINANTS

In farming, Holtz notes that antibiotics are no longer being used singularly to treat sick animals; they’re also being used in the form of hormones, growth promoters and for illness prevention.  In her research, she determined the increased use of drugs in veterinary medicine, farming practices and aquaculture has decreased the effectiveness of the use of antibiotics.  The use of hormones in both animals and humans has had a negative effect on reproduction, causing the feminization of fish, wiping out an entire talhead minnow population in Ontario.  EDSs have also contributed to deformities in fish, birds and wildlife…Building on study results conducted in the U.S. and Europe, Holtz says it’s time for Canada to get more involved in the issue of contaminants in water.  She says the Canadian government and Canadian organizations don’t have enough information “even to develop a strategy that can effectively” determine the effects of contaminants in water… 
Here are a few YouTube videos relevant to this article:

~ Pharmaceuticals ~

~ Disposing of your Medications ~

~ Pharmaceutical Products In Our Water PSA ~

In addition to research, Holtz said a focus on human behaviour and providing more information to the public in order to encourage better choices are also important elements of social change.

OTTAWA RIVERKEEPER ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL

Ottawa-River-Keeper1Ottawa-River-Keeper-logo

Ottawa’s First Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Join Ottawa Riverkeeper for an evening of adventure-packed films that celebrate our natural world while raising funds to protect the Ottawa River.

Ottawa-River-Keeper2

The evening includes a silent auction, door prizes and the opportunity to speak to the Ottawa Riverkeeper herself, Meredith Brown!

When: Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
(Doors open at 6:30 pm)

Where: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Why: All proceeds from this evening support Ottawa Riverkeeper initiatives, including the purchase of water quality test kits for our Riverwatch Program. Swim. Drink. Fish. It’s your river, it’s your right!

Tickets: $12 General Admission, $50 VIP pass (1 ticket with reserved premium seating and admission to our prescreening reception)

Hosted by Ottawa Riverkeeper, this year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival features award-winning environmental documentaries with a focus on freshwater.

Through stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling these films inform, inspire and ignite solutions to restore the earth, build strong communities, and create a positive future for the next generation.

Award Winning Films

White Water, Black Gold
Follows David Lavallee on his three year journey across western Canada in search of the truth about the impact of the world’s thirstiest oil industry. This is a journey of jarring contrasts, from the pristine mountain icefields that are the source of this industry’s water, to the Tar Sands tailings ponds. White Water, Black Gold is a sober look at the untold costs associated with this unconventional ‘oil’. Take a sneak peak!

Chasing Water
Follow the Colorado River, source to sea, with photographer Pete McBride who takes an intimate look at the watershed as he attempts to follow the irrigation water that sustains his family’s Colorado ranch, down river to the sea. Check out the trailer

For a full listing of films…


Amazing Prizes

A Stand Up Paddle group lesson for six from Paddlefit

An Ocean Wise five-course menu by Executive Chef Walid El-Tawel with Restaurant e18hteen

Buy tickets online or at Delilah (in the Parc), Delilah (in the Glebe), Mountain Equipment Co-op or Trailhead

“Like” Ottawa Riverkeeper on Facebook and share this contest for a chance to win 2 VIP passes to the festival!


Not already a member? Join Ottawa Riverkeeper today!


Forward this message to a friend


Ottawa Riverkeeper is a charitable organization. Our business number is 862697059RR0001. Please consider making a donation to support our work.

Concerned citizens like you are part of a watershed network of people committed to the protection and conservation of our river. Thank you for helping to keep our watershed healthy!

Copyright ©2012 Ottawa Riverkeeper Inc.
301-1960 Scott Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Z 8L8
Phone 613-321-1120 1-888-9Keeper
Privacy Policy Website Contact

THE TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT

The following excerpts are taken from WaterCanada’s July/August issue of, “The Trickle-Down Effect” – Industry, agriculture, and government have voices about water in Alberta. But who speaks for the environment’s needs? by Susan R. Eaton

“Heralded as the economic growth engine of Canada, Alberta has recently discovered that its most strategic resource may not be subsurface oil and gas reserves. Perhaps more critical to future economic development will be the existence of abundant and predictable quantities of water. As the prairie province deals with water allocation for a burgeoning population and expanding industrial sectors – oil sands, agriculture, petrochemicals and power generation – it is feeling the impacts of climate change, including droughts, destructive floods, and reduced contributions from rapidly receding mountain glaciers that feed Alberta’s waterways and aquifers…”

Uploaded by on Dec 7, 2007 – A TV SPOT in a series for the United Nations Canada Water for Life initiative. The Bow River Basin Council and the Oldman Watershed Council are providing leadership and solutions to how water is conserved and protected.  Visit thinkwater.ca for more information.


 “In August 2006, four of five rivers in southern Alberta’s South Saskatchewan River Basin were closed to new water withdrawals, due to over-allocation by the provincial regulator.

In northern Alberta, oil sands companies continue to seek increased allocations from the Athabasca River to support their rapidly expanding, water-intensive bitumen mining and upgrading operations. Current withdrawals may have already compromised the river’s healthy inflow capacity during the low-flow fall and winter months… Critics accuse the Alberta government of approving amendments to senior water licence agreements—often without public input—and of diverting unused volumes of water to third parties, for purposes other than originally intended and to the detriment of Alberta’s waterways. The Province created its Water Act in 2000, legislating, for the first time, the monetization—through the sale, transfer, or carving up of senior water rights—of Alberta’s water resources… Andy Ridge is the director of water policy for Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development…”

Uploaded by  on Mar 23, 2010 -A short video that explains the upcoming water allocation review. Please visit us http://www.water-matters.org/program/share-the-water

“Water mastery Ridge says, when it comes to meeting that water needs of Alberta’s diverse stakeholders, “it’s always circumstance specific.” “We apply water mastery when there’s an issue,” says Ridge. “Water mastery” is his term to describe the Province’s balancing act of meeting the water needs—current and future. “In tough times, we get involved to ensure that everyone is less harmed,” says Ridge. But tough times have existed for more than a decade in southern Alberta, where the Province has ordered junior water holders to reduce or stop water withdrawals, enabling “first in time, first in right” senior holders to maintain their draws… In 2010, the Province approved a request for an amendment of the City of Calgary’s senior license to divert treated wastewater to a new gas-fired power plant  being built nearby by ENMAX Corporation. In 2007, the Province approved  an amendment to the City of Edmonton’s water senior license, enabling it to sell  wastewater to Petro- Canada Ltd. (now Suncor Energy Inc.) for use in heavy oil  upgrading operations east of the city. In both instances, Donahue explains, the  amendments of senior water licences resulted in negative benefits to Calgary’s  Bow River and to Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River, as wastewater was  diverted for industrial purposes and not returned to the river systems. He adds  that Petro-Canada and ENMAX avoided costly public environmental hearings and  idn’t have to apply for low priority, junior water licenses.   Return it to the  rivers For the past decade, the City of Calgary has encouraged its residents to  conserve water, even providing financial incentives to purchase low flush toilets  and install water meters. However, Calgarians who believed they were  contributing to improving the aquatic health and trout habitat of the Bow River—  billed by Travel Alberta as the world’s premier trout fishing stream – might be  surprised to learn that the water conserved had been sold for industrial users or to  ther municipalities in southern Alberta… The Calgary-based Water  Conservation Trust of Canada is working  toward ensuring conserved water gets  back to the stream…The Trust’s mandate revolves around holding water  conservation licenses. However, according to Ridge, “The concept of a license  that’s being held for the environment – that’s what the Water Conservation Trust  of Canada is promoting – is contained in the Water Act.” To date, only the Province  olds these conservation licenses in trust, but the Water Act doesn’t  specifically prohibit other groups from doing so, too. Just as Alberta’s  homesteaders developed the province in the early 1900s, Bell, a native Albertan, is  ioneering a new vision for prosperity which includes an innovative tool to  achieve the healthy aquatic ecosystems contemplated within the provincial Water  Act. “We’ve spent six years breaking trail,” said Bell, “and we’re close to a  breakthrough.”

Water as a Limited Resource

Got Thirst? Will Alberta’s Water Law leave you high and dry?

UNITED STATES CLEAN WATER ACT TURNS 40

 

October 18th marks the 40th anniversary of the United States Clean Water Act.

What Is the Clean Water Act?
Here’s a look at what the Clean Water Act is and how this legislation is intended to address water pollution.

Answer: The Clean Water Act or CWA is the primary legislation in the United States that addresses water pollution. The goal of the Clean Water Act is to limit the release of high volumes of toxic chemicals into the nation’s water and ensure that surface waters met standards for sports and recreational use.The present legislation is based on the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972. Significant amendments were added in the Clean Water Act of 1977 and the Water Quality Act of 1987.

The following excerpts are from “A Bolder Clean Water Act for the Next 40 Years“, posted by Sandra Postel of National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative in Water Currents on October 17, 2012.
We recommend you read the full article at: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/17/a-bolder-clean-water-act-for-the-next-40-years/

…As game-changing laws go, the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act ranks high. With images of rivers like the Cuyahoga burning and fish floating belly up in Lake Erie still fresh in the public’s mind, the Act transformed the nation’s relationship with fresh water.  It forbade cities and industries from using rivers and lakes as waste receptacles… The Act also set an ambitious goal: by 1985 the nation’s waters should be “fishable and swimmable.”  Although we missed that deadline, we are two-thirds of the way to achieving that goal… This year, as we celebrate the Act’s 40th anniversary, we can take pride in its accomplishments.  But after four decades, the Act needs to be given new teeth and updated tools, both to meet its original goals as well as to address new water challenges that have emerged since its passage.”


Development of the EPA, uploaded by on Feb 5, 2010

The following YouTube video, “Clean Water Act turns 40″ is 1&1/4 hours in length. From the National Press Club in Washington, DC during May 2012 ~ Published on May 31, 2012 by

CANADA’S TAR SANDS ~ CATASTROPHIC DESTRUCTION!!!

Right now, Canadian premiers are in Halifax discussing the fate of a mega-pipeline that would traffic Alberta‘s dirty tar oil to the Pacific Coast.  But BC Premier Christy Clark knows that the hugely unpopular deal could cost her party critical election votes.   Her firm opposition could delay the project and even kill it for good. Hold Christy’s feet to the fire by signing Avaaz.org’s petition. 
 

Please click on the link below to see 9 photos taken by Luc Bourgeois of the Alberta tar sands area ~ you’ll be shocked at the unthinkable devastation of our once renowned incredibly picturesque land.  Luc refers to the new barren and toxic desert area as “Alberta’s Boreal Desert”, and refers to the containment lakes where 500 dead ducks were found in the toxic sludge. 
You can listen to George Poitras speaking in Montreal of “Life and Death Downstream ~ audio update March 17, 2011. 

~ http://www.lucbourgeoisphoto.org/tarsands.html

Avaaz is a world renowned non-profit organization dedicated to righting wrongs world wide that affect each and every one of us.  Please read and sign the petition ~ your vote can REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Pressure on Christy Clark is mounting ~ as the head of the province where the pipe will end, she has tremendous power to put the brakes on this reckless deal. Call on her to reject the Northern Gateway pipeline by signing the petition below and forward it to everyone. When we reach 50,000 signatures, it’ll be delivered straight to the meeting in Halifax ~

The meeting is happening now ~ let’s come together to place the spotlight on Clark and demand that she keeps Alberta’s deadly tar oil at bay. Sign here and forward to all your friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24_hours_to_landlock_the_tar_sands/?blTFScb&v=16574

Sources ~

Gateway pipeline risks exceed rewards, B.C. Premier says (Globe and Mail)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/gateway-pipeline-risks-exceed-rewards-bc-premier-says/article4435145/

Feds propose $3.7M penalty for Mich. oil spill (Salon.com)
http://www.salon.com/2012/07/02/feds_propose_3_7m_penalty_for_mich_oil_spill/singleton/

The Anatomy of Enbridge’s Once and Future Oil Spills (NWF)
http://nwcoastenergynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/NWF_EnbridgeOilSpill_LoResRevised.pdf

B.C. Premier Sets Conditions for Tar Sands Pipelines (Environment News Service)
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jul2012/2012-07-23-01.html

We thank all of you for your support ~ this is far too important to ignore!

WOW! WHITEWATER KAYAKING – OTTAWA RIVER VIDEO

White Water Kayaking is certainly not a sport for the ‘faint of heart’… but what a ‘fun’ water sport for the more adventurous water enthusiasts!!!

Currents is a river stewardship focused WebTV program (online video documentary) which uses white water kayaking as a means to educate a broader audience about the risks threatening the world’s rivers and to help highlight the intrinsic value of preserving rivers in their natural state.

Other Vimeo videos on White Water Kayaking:

Barely Legal 2 Trailer from Airborn Athletics on Vimeo.


Dip, dip and swing your paddle
flashing with silver
follow the wild goose flight
dip, dip and swing… back for a visit again soon.