NSRK Fall 2014 Update

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The NSRK Fall 2014 Update is posted here.

Check it out and see what we have been up to. 

Briefly, we have been responding to a number of citizen/community concerns and looking for solutions.

The Swim Guide for Alberta and Saskatchewan had an amazing summer guiding people away from posted beaches and to cleaner beaches. We have had over 94,000 views in 2014 to date.

We were promoting and participating in a number of “on the water” events getting people connected to their waters over the summer.

Finally, we continue represent our water and aquatic species when consulting and making recommendations to government and multi-stakeholder processes such as the North SK Regional Plan.

“Stand Up for The River” on Saturday, August 16

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Saturday morning, August 16, is your chance to join the North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper and “Stand Up for the River”.

Come check out the Easy Rider Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) race and tour from Hawrelak/Laurier Park bridge or other viewing points along the the North SK River down to Rafter’s Landing. Other good spots include the LRT bridge and the trail west of Groat Bridge in MacKinnon Ravine Park.

There are few things that capture our connection to our North Saskatchewan River like a regatta of Stand Up Paddleboarders cruising down the water in unison. Come check out the recreational and aesthetic value of our river and paddleboarding.

The paddleboarders can be viewed from Hawrelak/Laurier Bridge around 10AM.  May vary depending on river flow status that day.

If you are an experienced river paddleboarder and are interested in entering the 7th Annual Easy Rider SUP Cup, click here for the race and touring details.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, August 16!

Where can you swim in Alberta?

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While The Swim Guide (www.theswimguide.org) does not have all the answers for swimming or water recreation in Alberta, it is a great starting point.

The Waterkeeper Swim Guide for Alberta beaches and lakes  provides daily water quality updates for most of the popular public beaches and lakes for Alberta. The North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper (NSRK) provides the content and updates for the Swim Guide in Alberta. The daily water quality updates are based on Alberta Health Services health advisories posted for beaches they monitor for fecal contamination and lakes for the confirmed presence of blue-green algae.

The Waterkeeper Swim Guide also provides citizen reports of swimmer’s itch and and other beach and swimming area concerns provided to the NSRK. There is a report pollution option for every beach of the Swim Guide and the NSRKreceives the pollution reports and provides the follow up.

The Waterkeeper Swim Guide also provides information such as a beach/lake location map, directions, beach/swimming area descriptions, nearby amenities, historical information for the area/beach, historical water quality information, and other helpful hints or references.

Check it out before you head to an Alberta beach or lake for swimming, water-based recreation, or hanging on the beach. The Waterkeeper Swim Guide also covers a number of other provinces, US states, and international jurisdictions.

Playing on the North Saskatchewan River (NSR) in Edmonton: Current Impacts and Update on Recreational Water Quality for People and Fish

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Our North Saskatchewan River is a natural and recreational treasure.

However, two of the most commonly asked questions of the Riverkeeper are:

“Is it safe to recreate in and on the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton?”

“Is the water quality safe and suitable for fish in Edmonton?”

There is no simple answer or guarantee to question one as there are many factors at play including: seasonality of flow, precipitation, impacts on the recreational water quality such as stormwater runoff, type of recreation, specific location, and the user. Our river in the recreation season is many times a tale of two rivers. One that can flow swiftly and high from May to early August and one that flows slower, clearer, and shallower from mid-August to October.

Come join us for an interactive evening of updates and discussion as our expert presenters, Steph Neufeld of EPCOR and Dr. Greg Goss of the University of Alberta, strive to provide some clarity on the safety of recreating with respect to the water quality of our NSR in Edmonton for humans and fish.


Reception including snacks, beverages and information displays from NSR-related organisations.


An Update on the Status and Impacts on Recreational Water Quality for the NSR in Edmonton:

Steph Neufeld, M.Sc., Watershed Specialist, EPCOR Water Services


An Update on the Status and Impacts on the Water Quality of the NSR for Fish in Edmonton:

Greg Goss, Ph.D., Professor and Researcher, University of Alberta

7:30PM: Questions and Interactive Discussion with the presenters and audience.

8:00PM: Adjourn

Location: Lecture Room 2-190, ECHA (Edmonton Clinic Health Academy). SW corner of 87ave and 114st.

Click here for the location on the map. LRT, Bus, Bike friendly location. Once inside ECHA, Room 2-190 is on the second floor in the NW corner of the building.

RSVP: Please RSVP to glenn@saskriverkeeper.ca and you will be entered into our draw for door prizes.

Questions or media inquiries: Please call Glenn Isaac at 780 554 3848

NOTE: Saskatchewan River: Cree translation: kisiskāciwani-sīpiy meaning “swift flowing river”.
The organisers, presenters, and exhibitors are providing information about the recreational water quality, impacts and opportunities for the NSR in Edmonton. Like all still and flowing waterbodies, safety is not a guarantee and appropriate measures and preparation are required to minimise risks for aquatic recreation and recreating near waterbodies. Further, unlike most of the swimming areas and beaches provided in www.theswimguide.org for AB, Alberta Health Services does not routinely monitor and post advisories for recreational water quality for the NSR.

Presenter Biographies:

Steph Neufeld:

Steph Neufeld was born and raised on a farm near the McLeod River where she spent many summer days and nights on her banks or navigating through her waters. She completed both her undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Alberta. Her M.Sc. degree investigated the effects of landuse change on water quality and aquatic insect communities in Alberta streams.

After graduation, Steph worked in consulting as an Aquatic Biologist for several years. She now works as a Watershed Specialist for EPCOR Water Services where her focus is on drinking water source water protection and watershed management. She presently sits on the Integrated Watershed Management Plan steering committee for the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, is president of the Alberta Lake Management Society, and a board member for RiverWatch.

Professor Greg Goss, Ph.D.:

Dr. Greg Goss is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Dr. Goss was appointed Assistant Professor in July 1997, and earned ranks of Associate and Full Professor in July of 2002 and 2005, respectively. Prior to his faculty position, Dr. Goss held two post-doctoral appointments at Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario and Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He completed his B.Sc. (1986) and M.Sc. (1988) at McMaster University and obtained a Ph.D. in 1993 at the University of Ottawa. In 2008, Dr. Goss was awarded the Killam Annual Professorship at the University of Alberta and the McCalla Research Award in 2009. He is the past winner of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, the Canadian Society of Zoologists Early Investigator Award and the American Physiological Society Young Investigator Award. He is a funded researcher by the Canadian Water Network, Environment Canada, NSERC and numerous Industry Partners.

Dr. Goss’ currently leads a large research group (~15 HQP) focused in the twin areas of physiology and environmental toxicology. His toxicology program focuses impacts of pollutant on fish, especially in regard to effluents from wastewater treatment plants and more recently, working with government and industry to assess potential aquatic toxicity of nanomaterials for environmental remediation. He is also President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, serves on the Council for numerous national and international societies and is on the Editorial Board for 3 international journals.

Click here for an abbreviated CV.

Glenn on City TV

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When we launched the RBC Blue Water Project in 2007, we decided to support two broad areas: watershed protection and access to clean drinking water. We felt that by casting such a wide net, we could get to know the fullest range of people and organizations working to protect water; fast track critical funding to a variety of national, regional and community-based projects around the world; and learn as much as we could about water. At the same time, we also wanted to help raise awareness about water issues.

Public Education/Consultation Opportunities for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan

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We all want the best for our North Saskatchewan River Watershed.

Now is your chance to have your say on the future of our watershed and land use planning.

The North Saskatchewan Regional Plan is a very important project.

Click here for more background, information and meeting details.

The NSRK will be providing our recommendations at the stakeholder consultation table. Our recommendations will be focused on water quality and quantity preservation.