Submitted by Chiara Cipriano
Whether canoeing, rafting or tubing down the Elk River, this pristine blue ribbon is sure to connect us in more than one way this summer.
The Elk River Alliance (ERA) is a community-based watershed group that recognizes the importance of this river and is taking action to unify our community around keeping it drinkable, fishable, and swimmable.
This year we will be expanding our outreach and education program. Every other week leading up the Swim, Drink, Fish Festival, hosted on September 26-27, we will write a column giving you cool facts about the Elk River and information about upcoming opportunities where you can connect with this waterway and learn new skills. Whether at farmer’s markets in Fernie or Coal Miner Days in Sparwood, our outreach educators, Chiara Cipriano and Graham Preston, will attempt to share the wonder of water, flood solution strategies in fun interactive ways, wee wiley fresh water invertebrates, but most importantly share your love or concerns about the Elk River.
We believe our community has the right to know about the health of their watershed. In 2011, the ERA started monitoring Lizard Creek west of Fernie and added Alexander Creek east of Sparwood in 2012. Continued observations of aquatic health helps to prioritize conservation and restoration efforts.
Ayla Bennett will lead community volunteers in conducting high-flow water monitoring of both Lizard and Alexander creeks. If you are interested in how or what we monitor, feel free to call or join us, May 29-31. The results will also be posted on our website www.elkriveralliance.ca.