Ottawa, February 19, 2020. Ottawa Riverkeeper is very pleased to announce that the RBC Foundation will be funding the Watershed Health Assessment and Monitoring project, supporting research and community-based monitoring (CBM). This project will help to better understand the health of the Ottawa River watershed. Announced yesterday evening by Marjolaine Hudon, the Regional President, Personal and Commercial Banking at RBC, the investment totaling $350,000 over 3 years will help fill key data gaps and mobilize a broad network of communities and citizen scientists to monitor and protect swimmable, drinkable and fishable waters.
Engage. Monitor. Report.
The Watershed Health Assessment and Monitoring project is designed to be a highly collaborative endeavour. It includes engaging and working with established researchers, co-designing projects with two Algonquin Communities Kebaowek First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, as well as growing a network of volunteer citizen scientists. With this spectrum of collaborators, Ottawa Riverkeeper aims to establish widespread and ongoing monitoring, and collection/analysis of reliable scientific data for a predetermined set of 14 indicators of watershed health. The improved understanding of watershed health gained through monitoring will allow Ottawa Riverkeeper to report on issues concerning our watershed, using engaging visuals, and interactive displays to bring data-driven stories to key decision- and policy-makers, and show them where and how conservation efforts will be most effective. “The support we’re receiving from the RBC Foundation gives us the opportunity to really do something great,” says Elizabeth Logue, the Riverkeeper at Ottawa Riverkeeper. “This is a ground-breaking, 21st-century approach to watershed monitoring and reporting that will lead to tangible gains in understanding water quality throughout the watershed. We are excited to see how this project will allow us to work with communities to protect our most precious resource”.
A long-standing partnership
For many years, RBC has been a champion for freshwater and worked with many communities across Canada. As a major partner of Ottawa Riverkeeper, RBC Foundation has helped catalyze great change and growth. This has contributed to the organization’s capacity to take on larger projects and engage with more people. This includes support for projects such as Swim Guide and the Blue Water Project. All activities where Ottawa Riverkeeper engaged communities to learn about key issues and take action to protect the Ottawa River. A key aspect of this relationship is RBC’s Career Launch program. It provides youth the opportunity to work at non-profit organizations. Ottawa Riverkeeper has benefited immensely from the contribution of these talented interns. RBC’s most recent investment in Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Watershed Health Assessment and Monitoring project is another exciting chapter in our shared history.
“RBC is committed to investing in the health and well-being of our communities. It’s a responsibility we share with community leaders, citizens and organizations like Ottawa Riverkeeper”, said Hudon. “That’s why it’s so exciting to partner with Ottawa Riverkeeper on the Ottawa River Report, a study that will involve citizen scientists, in every community where the river flows.”
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For questions and interviews, please contact:
Elizabeth Logue, Riverkeeper
613-321-1120 ext. 1002