Youth Water Leaders Program Kick-off! – March 30th 2019

This past Saturday a group of 8 young people gathered at the Ottawa Riverkeeper office to kick-off the Youth Water Leaders Program!

Our future water leaders got to know each other and shared their passion for environmental advocacy and water protection. The group learned about the number of issues facing the Ottawa River watershed, shared some of their unique connections to water and discussed different ways to engage their communities in protecting the Ottawa River.

It was a great afternoon and we’re looking forward to all the awesome things to come from our Youth Water Leaders!

Get to know some of our Youth Water Leaders below and keep an eye out on our social media platforms for more from the group.


Brooke Toutant: Being a youth water leader means to me not only making a personal commitment to keeping the waters clean, but also supporting others on their water commitment.

Charlotte Heller: Being a youth water leader means engaging with my community on watershed issues and empowering others to take action. Also celebrating the Ottawa River and its watershed.

Nyima Yaffa: To make an impact. To address issues concerning Ottawa’s water bodies. To teach others and to gain knowledge from others.

Franny Varty: Encouraging others through engagement and personal action to protect water sources. Bringing people together to use water sources in a fun and safe way.

Heather Gardner: To me it means informing and inspiring the public to learn, get involved and help sustain our most precious resource, water.

Jessica Schurm: Being informed about issues surrounding the Ottawa River and coming up with innovative solutions to solve problems.

Erin Walton: I think youth water leader means that a youth is taking the initiative to learn more about their community and water and making or looking to make a difference.

Gabrielle Ngambo: Being a youth water leader gives me the opportunity to be able to defend a cause for the well being of every human being and living creature that are in one way or another related to the water.


Brooke Toutant: I hope to achieve the goal of being able to create a network of knowledge, experience, and community based on our common connection to water around us.

Charlotte Heller: I hope to make a meaningful contribution towards protecting the Ottawa River watershed and reach out to others to inspire and educate on watershed issues.

Nyima Yaffa: To raise awareness concerning pollutants in the Ottawa River or any body of water. To also get insight on how to create new policies to put a stop to contamination.

Franny Varty: I hope to learn more about the Ottawa River watershed and create opportunities for others to think about protecting water sources. I hope to also use what I learned about science and engagement to improve water source protection elsewhere.

Heather Gardner: I hope to gain knowledge for myself but also to know that I actively helped to keep the Ottawa River clean, usable and sustainable.

Jessica Schurm: I hope to achieve lots of meaningful service hours to improve the ecological health of the Ottawa River, and to encourage others to do the same.

Erin Walton: I hope that it will build my interest in the environment and help me put my interests to use. I hope that it will allow me to make a bigger difference in helping to have a cleaner community.

Gabrielle Ngambo: I hope that at the end or throughout the program I can gain some leadership skills and be able to learn and share new knowledge. I would also like to be able to link my passions like art, health etc. to water while having an interesting experience.

One response to “Youth Water Leaders Program Kick-off! – March 30th 2019”

  1. Ron Powers says:

    What a bright, energetic and enthusiastic looking group of young women you have recruited. I read with interest their respective responses to your questions, and believe that they have great potential.
    Thanks for sharing this with us, and keep up the great work.