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Elk River Alliance Fall 2018 Newsletter

It's been an action-packed, fun-filled summer with the Elk River Alliance this year! From concerts to kids camps, water monitoring to weed pulls, there was never a dull moment. 

Fall colours in the Elk River Watershed symbolize a time of transition, and here at the Elk River Alliance there is no exception. Lee-Anne Walker is moving to retirement, staying on as a senior advisor when needed, and Allie Ferguson has left to pursue other work opportunities. ERA continues to forge ahead, carving out a new path and continuing to steward community action to improve the health of our watershed.

What's on the Horizon for ERA

Community-based Water Monitoring Open House
We just completed our 7th and 8th years of water monitoring on Alexander and Lizard Creeks, respectively, and we are now looking at sharing our data and expanding our program. Discover what we've learned about local water quality at a public open house on the community-based water monitoring (CBWM) program. We will be sharing results collected by citizen scientists over the past 8 years. We want to hear your questions and concerns about water quality in the Elk Valley. We will be looking for feedback on how to make this program most useful to YOU--the community and decision-makers. Get involved, add your input, hear results and enjoy some snacks at our community open house. 

Join us on November 26th from 4-5:30 for a public open house on the community-based water monitoring data collected by citizen scientists in the Elk Valley. 

If you haven't already, please complete our public water data survey before the event so we can better address your comments.
Be Flood Ready
The Elk River Alliance is exploring an exciting program with the University of Waterloo that will help home owners be flood ready. This program will include a home inspection that comes with a toolbox of practical ideas designed to protect your biggest investment - your home. Stay tuned in the spring for more details on this initiative!

Stormwater Solutions
With the recent stormwater washing off our roads and draining into our rivers, many concerned citizens are noticing the impact that this can have on our water. We have received funding (and are waiting on more) to host a series of workshops next year designed to help residents of the Elk Valley learn hands-on skills to reduce above-ground stormwater coming off their property, and help improve the water quality in the Elk Valley. Another project to keep your eyes open for next field season!
 
Some of our amazing volunteers even went out of their way to go clean up along Alexander Creek, one of the Elk River's tributaries close to the Alberta border.
Recent Accomplishments for ERA

Charitable Status
It took a lot of hard work and time, but the Elk River Alliance is now officially a registered charity! This means that we can issue tax receipts for charitable donations. Click here if you'd like to make a donation. This holiday season, consider giving the gift of watershed health for future generations.

Elk River Shoreline Cleanup
The temperatures were far from warm for our 8th annual shoreline cleanup, but that didn't stop many of our hardy volunteers from showing up and cleaning up along the Elk River in the communities of Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie. Together we removed approximately 450 lbs of garbage. To date, our communities have picked up over 21, 500 lbs of trash from the river around Fernie, and over 19, 000 lbs from around BOTH Sparwood and Elkford. Way to go everyone!!
Without our amazing volunteers we would not have been able to complete the low-flow monitoring this year!
Low Flow Water Monitoring
It wasn't warm and sunny most of the time we were out, but we still had a great time sampling local benthic invertebrate populations and collecting data on our streams. We also started our data collection on Boivin Creek this fall, and hosted a successful Streamkeepers course in Elkford!

Elk Watershed Discovery Camps
We once again partnered with the College of the Rockies to host our  Elk Watershed Discovery Camps. This year we hosted three fully subscribed camps, and plan to do so again next year! Campers explored wetlands, learned about water quality science, rafted the lower Elk's mightiest rapids, canoed the lower Kootenay River into Koocanusa, and even dissected a fish! Special thanks to the organizations that sponsor the camps:  Edge Of The World - Fernie, BC Kootenay Trout Hatchery, Elk River Guiding Company, Canyon Raft Company, Fernie Rod and Gun Club, City of Fernie, Teck and College of the Rockies. 

Chris Coole CD Release Party a Great Success
On August 15th, 50 people enjoyed fine bluegrass and fancy drinks at the Fernie Distillers. Through his music, Chris Coole inspired connection to the Elk River. During his performance, accompanied by Anie & Michael Hepher, audience members were captivated by his musical prowess on the banjo, mandolin and vocals. At the Elk River Alliance, we have been humbled by Chris' generosity and kindness. 

A Toronto-based musician, Chris frequents the Elk River on fishing trips. He has donated 750 CDs and all online sales from "Road to the River", his newest album of river-based songs, to the Elk River Alliance, raising funds for community-initiatives. Buy your copy here!
The Fernie Brewing Company donated $5265 to the Elk River Alliance as part of their "Cheers to Charity" - such an incredible initiative that we are so grateful to have been considered for! Thank you so much for helping the charities in the community!
Upcoming Important Dates 

Community-based Water Monitoring Openhouse  
Mark your calendar! November 26th, 2018 from 4:00PM-5:30PM at the Fernie Senior's Centre (562 3rd Avenue, Fernie).

Come learn about what and how we monitor the creeks in the Elk River watershed, why this data matters and how it's being used.
From everyone at the Elk River Alliance, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of our incredible volunteers, partners and funders.  In particular, ERA would like to thank the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Columbia Basin Trust, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Environment and Climate Change Canada, BC Wildlife Federation, Province of BC, Teck, Canyon Raft Company, Elk River Guiding Company, Patagonia, College of the Rockies, Nature Conservancy of Canada, City of Fernie, District of Sparwood, Regional District of the East Kootenay, and Tourism Fernie. 
The Elk River Alliance is a community-based water group that aims to connect people to the Elk River, ensuring it is drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations. Thank-you for joining us on our mission to care for our watershed, volunteering with restoration activities, or just keeping yourself educated! Keep your eyes and ears open for more stewardship events in the next few months!
Copyright © 2018 Elk River Alliance, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
891 2nd Ave 
Fernie, BC
PO Box 537
V0B 1M0
(250) 423-3322

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Elk River Alliance · 891 2nd Ave, Box 537 Fernie, BC · Fernie, BC V0B 1M0 · Canada

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