Ottawa Riverkeeper held its annual general meeting recently at the Ron Kolbus Centre and announced a new project that will take place on the river this summer.
Meredith Brown (former executive director and now Riverkeeper) told the crowd that she will be leading a group of concerned citizens and experts on a summer-long paddle down the Ottawa River, beginning on July 4.
Project goals include: gather information from local experts in each community in the watershed about the state of the river in their community, monitor water quality in the river, engage local residents and help them to get involved with protecting the river, and share information about the watershed among all communities that live by the Ottawa River.
"Action on the local level is imperative," said Ms. Brown. "We need to find ways to make sure we can continue to swim, drink and fish in the Ottawa River. We need to prioritize how we are going to protect the river," she said.
Considering that approximately two million people get their drinking water from the Ottawa River and raw sewage continues to get pumped into the river after every major rainfall, a study of the watershed could not come at a better time.
Following Ms. Brown's river project announcement, Executive Director, Natasha Wilson and Chair, Geoff Green, both talked about the history of the NGO – now in its 10th year – and Ottawa Riverkeeper's strategic plan to encourage stewardship of the river, offer the public science-based information, promote municipalities and various levels of government to work together, promote tap water over bottled water, and strengthen water-related laws and compliance with those laws.
Ottawa Riverkeeper encourages the public to get involved with protecting its water supply and offers a toll-free pollution hotline (1-888-9Keeper).
|Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown|
|Ottawa Riverkeeper Executive Director, Natasha Wilson|
|Ottawa Riverkeeper Chair, Geoff Green|