A summer with Ottawa Riverkeeper

A Gala, 400 eels, shoreline naturalizations, a historic designation, a parade on the river, and more…. It’s been a busy summer!

Summer 2017 started with our Riverkeeper Gala on the shores of Lemieux Island – and it was the most successful one we’ve ever had! Furthermore, our Honorary Riverkeeper, Senator Murray Sinclair, made a moving speech reminding us of the healing spirit of our River and the importance of water in our lives. A more detailed recap of the evening can be found at https://www.riverkeepergala.com/.

In July, Ottawa Riverkeeper released 416 American eels into the river from the shores of Petrie Island in the hopes of recovering the species. Once abundant in the Ottawa River, the eel is now endangered.This release is an annual initiative realized in collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, in the aims of improving the passage of eels at two hydroelectric dams along the Ottawa River.

In August, the Ottawa Riverkeeper Swim was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions. Still, some good came from the event as the food was donated to the women’s shelter Maison Libère-Elles in Chelsea, QC.

During the month of August, shoreline naturalization workshops were also held at Fitzroy Harbour, Norway Bay, and Westmeath. Shoreline naturalization helps prevent erosion and maintain a healthy river. Following these workshops, two planting activities took place in October.

On August, 21st the Ottawa River was officially designated a Lieu historique by the Quebec government. This designation results from work started last year and is worth celebrating. Read more about it here.

One of the largest and most fun events of this summer was the River Parade and Picnic which took place on September 10th. Hundreds of people came out to Ride the River, with festive spirits, some with truly excellent costumes, and beautifully decorated boats. https://www.riverparade.ca/

Once again, our Riverwatchers were back on the water, testing our river’s water quality throughout the summer. Ottawa Riverkeeper also continued to campaign for real-time sewage reporting, encouraging over 3000 people to write their mayors saying that #WeWantToKnow when sewage overflows into our river. Add your voice to this campaign.

Ottawa Riverkeeper followed and commented on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ proposed nuclear waste disposal facility throughout the summer. Not only did we draw attention to the risks of radioactive waste contaminating the river,  but we provided an objective, science-based analysis of the project. A 66-page long document has been submitted to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is available online.

As summer was winding down, the Ottawa and Potomac Rivers were officially twinned on September 22nd. This twinning marks the beginning of a partnership that recognizes the similarities that unite our rivers and the power of collaboration in protecting them. Learn more at  www.ourcapitalrivers.com.

Summer 2017 was one of our busiest yet, and we couldn’t have done it without our incredible volunteers and followers. We can’t wait to get back out with you next year!

In the River Spirit,

Ottawa Riverkeeper Staff