May 26, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario
A Summit for the Ottawa River
The summit will bring together a coalition of environmental experts, politicians and First Nation leaders to discuss how best to solve complex water protection challenges.
In advance of the summit, Ottawa Riverkeeper and the Fondation de Gaspé Beaubien have been leading an advisory committee that represents many key stakeholders in the watershed. The committee has drafted a declaration to affirm their commitment to work collectively for a healthy and sustainable future for the Ottawa River Watershed.
“These are important first steps toward a collective impact approach to protecting our shared river”, said Riverkeeper Meredith Brown. “I am thrilled that many leaders have signaled their intention to sign this declaration at the summit to acknowledge their shared responsibility to preserve biodiversity, the quality of our water and the well-being of communities within the Ottawa River Watershed.”
Provincial Environment Ministers Glen Murray and David Heurtel, Kitigan Zibi First Nation Claudette Commanda and Ottawa and Gatineau Mayors Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin and Jim Watson will join the discussions on freshwater protection.
The de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation has introduced an exciting, innovative element to this event called AquaHacking. Working in partnership with IBM they have reached out to developers, programmers and designers to create technology-based tools to help water managers and groups like Ottawa Riverkeeper in their daily work to protect the river. On Saturday May 30th, participants will have the opportunity to witness Canada’s first Aquahacking event and vote on their favourite applications. Jury members Alexandra Cousteau and Mitch Garber, among others will decide which teams will earn $15,000 in prizes.
“The involvement of the de Gaspé Beaubien family has been significant to boost our organizations’ ongoing work to improve Ottawa River governance.”
“If we are truly going to protect this magnificent river, we need to bring together community leaders, industry and government agencies on both sides of the river to agree on a common vision for our internationally significant river. We are smarter and more efficient when we work together and share knowledge. Fundamentally, we all want a river that improves prosperity within our communities and that incudes a river where we can safely swim, drink and fish.”
“The Summit and the Declaration are important first steps toward a collective impact approach to protecting our shared river. I am thrilled that many leaders have signaled their intention to sign this Declaration at the Summit to acknowledge their shared responsibility to preserve biodiversity, the quality of our water and the well-being of communities within the Ottawa River Watershed.”
– Meredith Brown, Riverkeeper and Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper
The Ottawa River Watershed by numbers:
- 146,300 square kilometres – the area of land that drains into the Ottawa River
- 1271 kilometres – the length of the river from its headwaters (Lac des Outaouais) to the St. Lawrence River
- 200 – the number of municipalities within the watershed
- 10 – the number of Algonquin First Nations within the watershed
- 304 – the number of Federal Members of Parliament who drink water from the Ottawa River
- 16 – the number of years the Kitigan Zibi First Nation has been under a drinking water advisory, relying on bottled water for drinking and cooking
- 19 – the number of dams on the Ottawa River from headwaters to the St. Lawrence River
- 0 – the number of permanent fish ladders to pass migratory species around those 19 dams
- 0 – the number of government agencies with a mandate or a plan to safe-guard the health and future of the Ottawa River
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @ottriverkeeper @AquaHacking
- Hashtag for Twitter & Instagram: #OttRiverSummit #AquaHacking
About Ottawa Riverkeeper
Ottawa Riverkeeper is a registered Canadian charity, founded in 2001 to protect, promote and improve the health and future of the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Ottawa Riverkeeper works collaboratively to inspire action, encourage responsible decision-making, hold polluters accountable and recommend alternative practices and policies to safeguard our local waterways. Ottawa Riverkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international grassroots organization founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
About the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
The de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, a private family foundation founded in 1990 by Nan-B and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, advocates an approach that favours entrepreneurial philanthropy. The Foundation prefers to actively invest in promising projects that are likely to experience growth and become profitable, rather than by offering only donations. With extensive experience in the field of business, as well as a network of established local and international contacts, the de Gaspé Beaubien family selects projects that help encourage individuals and organizations to support sustainable social development.
Meredith Brown, Riverkeeper and Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper
613-321-1120 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adèle Michon, Directrice des opérations au Québec, Ottawa Riverkeeper
819-576-2123 | email@example.com
To contact the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation or request media passes for this event:
Diep Truong | 514-436-2121 | firstname.lastname@example.org