Ottawa Riverkeeper was founded in 2001 as an environmental organization that provides leadership and inspiration to protect, promote and improve the ecological health of the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Their science-based and collaborative approach has enabled them to bring diverse stakeholders together to tackle complex river issues.
KNOW YOUR RIVER, LOVE YOUR RIVER
Ottawa Riverkeeper uses a variety of tools to increase awareness of the threats facing the Ottawa River and to enhance the use and appreciation for our magnificent river. People protect what they love, so part of their work is growing the community of river lovers. Three core areas have been identified to adapt this programming to:
- STEWARDS, TOGETHER (watershed governance and management)
- KNOW YOUR RIVER (science, research, reporting, innovation)
- LOVE YOUR RIVER (public awareness, education, outreach)
Know your River, Love your River programs include shoreline clean ups, water quality monitoring, Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Pollution Hotline, speaking engagements in schools and in the community. In a given year, they receive over 100 requests to speak at wide variety of events, conferences, schools, community groups, and visiting dignitaries in Ottawa and beyond.
Ottawa Riverkeeper also assists people in caring for and protecting the Ottawa River through their Pollution Hotline, a toll-free number and webpage that concerned citizens can call to report anything “fishy” they see in their area of the watershed. Ottawa Riverkeeper has fielded calls about illegal dumping in the river, fishkills, sinking ice huts, and oil spills. Ottawa Riverkeeper investigates, guides citizens on how to report issues in a complex watershed with many agencies, and provides follow up on issues to make sure they are dealt with appropriately.