Stewardship by a Hundred Small Successes - ERA Annual Report 2014

2014 was a busy year for the Elk River Alliance.  Click here to find out what we accomplished.  Thank you to all our funders, partners, board members, and watershed citizens for participating in all our programs. 


Elk River in the Globe & Mail

The Elk River has been receiving lots of attention in the Globe & Mail this month. The three articles, written by Mark Hume, are focused on selenium levels in the Elk. Read the articles and a letter to the editor submitted by the Elk River Alliance below.

October 12, 2014, New reports shed light on Fording River pollution problems

October 19, 2014, Elk Valley watershed: Why has this unfolding disaster been ignored?

October 28, 2014, Teck Resources water-treatment plant shut after dead fish found 

October 22, 2014, The Elk River Alliance's Letter to the Editor was submitted to Globe & Mail 

Dead fish in Line Creek near selenium water treatment facility

Click here to view a letter from Teck informing the community of 34 deceased fish found in the area of the selenium water treatment facility on Line Creek.  The multimillion dollar facility has been turned off and will be reactivated in spring 2015, following extensive investigation. 

4th Annual Elk River Swim Drink Fish Festival and Shoreline Clean Up


Everyone loves the Elk River.  They love to float on it during a hot summer day, fish the deep clear cold pools in the fall, or the thrill of paddling white water in the remote lower Phillips Canyon.  People care deeply about the health of the Elk.  This year more than a hundred are expected to show up to learn about the health of the Elk River watershed and help clean up its shoreline in Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie. 

“A clean shoreline makes it safe for animals living in or near the river and beautiful for people”, says Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director of the Elk River Alliance, an organizer for this years event.  “The 4rd Annual Swim, Drink, Fish Festival September 27-28 is a weekend for everyone to learn more about the health of our watershed and give back to the rivers health”. 


Saturday September 27 reveals new information about the ecology and stewardship plan for keeping Silver Springs swimmable at a guided walk - meet at the parking lot at the base of the trail up Silver Springs at 10 a.m. or at the ERA office to carpool at 9:15 a.m..  At 2 p.m. will be a ramble into the riparian area at the Ancient Morrissey Cottonwoods presenting a report card to residents on valley bottom health - meet at the head of the trail just east off Highway 3 in Morrissey.  Join the opening of the Forests and Fish interpretive trail at Mount Fernie Provincial Park at 4 p.m. highlighting how healthy forests foster healthy fish, even though fish can’t climb trees. Meet at the day use parking lot.  “These events are showcasing the work of the Elk River Watershed Alliance over the last year”, says Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director.  “There are so many people to thank for helping with these projects and community for their participation.  These documents will also be posted on our website and are meant as a conversation starter encouraging community to participate in decision making for a sustainable water future in the Elk River watershed. 

Sunday September 28, 2-4 p.m. meet in Fernie at the Annex Park, and at Sparwood and Elkford’s Leisure Centres, to participate in the Great Elk River Shoreline Cleanup, helping keep our water healthy for people and the wildlife in our watershed.  “This event is part of one of the largest environmental events in Canada Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and the third largest in the World”, notes Walker.  “Elk Valley residents are passionate about place and always willing to contribute a few hours to free our shorelines of litter as a way of giving back to this ribbon of life”.      



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Small Change Fund: community-based water monitoring program

 Elk River Alliance community-based water monitoring program fundraising

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) currently has a unique opportunity through the Small Change Fund, an organization that connects donors to innovative grassroots organizations to help fund community-based initiatives. The Small Change Fund will triple any donations made to Elk River Alliance’s community-based water monitoring program in the next two months for donations made on this website.

Funds raised through this initiative will be used in 2015 for high flow water monitoring, a data sharing event and a restoration project on Alexander Creek. For every $1 donated the Small Change Fund will donate $2! If you support the Elk River Alliance’s community-based water monitoring initiative, please consider donating today. 

Streamkeepers conduct a cross section to measure area of flow. Photos submitted
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Elk Watershed Discovery Camp Success!

Thank you so much to our sponsors, guests and participants for making the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp 2014 a big success!! Check out this video for the highlights of the 2 amazing weeks!


Elk River Watershed Discovery Camp

Our July session of the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp was a success! A great group of kids had so much fun canoeing on wetlands, geocaching at Fernie Alpine Resort, climbing spineback trail as Island Lake Lodge, floating the Elk River with Canyon Raft, fly fishing on Coal Creek with John Poirier and bicycling the storm drain system. If this sounds like fun to you sign up for August 11-15th session for Youth Age 11-14. Email [email protected] for more info!
See below for more photos... 

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Elk River Watershed Discovery Camp

Join the Elk River Alliance for a FUN and EXCITiNG hands-on field camp for youth age 11-14. Explore the Elk River watershed on foot, bike, raft and canoe. Camp dates are July 21-25 and August 11-15. Cost $200 with subsidies available.

For more information, click HERE to watch a short video.

BCWF Wetlandkeepers Course July 25-27

wetlandkeeper_course.pngBCWF Wetlandkeeper Instructor Lee-Anne Walker (also ERA Executive Director) invites Elk River residents and other interested citizen scientists to join this hands-on, field experience exploring wetlands late July in Kimberley on the St. Mary's Lake wetland. The fee has been waved due to successful fundraising initiatives.

For more information call Lee-Anne at (250) 423-1682.

CABIN Training Course August 2014

Become a Citizen Scientist!IMG_0096.jpeg

The CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocol was developed by Environment Canada, and is an aquatic biological and chemical monitoring program for assessing freshwater ecosystems, primarily stream and river habitats.
CABIN training provides the tools necessary for users to conduct consistent, comparable and scientifically credible assessments of streams. 

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