I recently spent some time with The Water Brothers on Georgian Bay. A fitting environment for those that actively promote the salvation of Earth’s water systems. The Water Brothers are Alex and Tyler Mifflin, the creators and hosts of the TVO Eco Adventure series by the same name. Their goal is to educate people about the issues and challenges that affect water in both Canada and around world. Through their TV show, the brothers have travelled to over 30 countries diving into issues like, climate change and its many impacts on water, from droughts in California to flooding in Bangladesh; overfishing, the importance of marine protected areas, plastic pollution building up in our oceans, to name just a few. They even just filmed an episode with NASA about Water in Space.
While visiting the beautiful waters and islands that surround their cottage, I learned about the new WWF Watershed report website that was recently released and the threats that face these water sources. This website is awesome!
“One of the big challenges we face in Canada, is the fact that many Canadians don’t know that there are big threats to the health of our watersheds in this country.” says Alex Mifflin in a recent Google Hangout with WWF CEO & President David Miller (ex Toronto Mayor), WWF Freshwater expert James Snider & CURA H2O’s Sarah Weston. Knowledge is the first step in combating the damages being done to our water resources. Through this new WWF Watershed report website, viewers can learn about the watersheds in Canada, as well as learn about the different threats that face them.
So far, half of the countries major watersheds (12) have been reported on for the website. By 2017, the website hopes to include 100% of Canada’s watershed reports (25). With the world longest coastline, that borders on 3 oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic) and home to over 60% of all the worlds lakes, Canada’s holds as much as 20% of the world’s fresh water, so it’s critically important for us to be educated about the health of the watersheds we live in. What are the challenges they face, and how can we help to better protect them.
There are a few things you can do with this interactive website. Here are some screen shots to help you navigate.
1. Here you can select whether to display the threats to each of the watersheds on the main map (left side) OR if you want to display the overall health of each of the watersheds.
2. Watersheds are outlined in white on this map. 12 of the 25 Canadian watersheds are now reporting.
3. Colour indicator of threats and health.
4. Education and discussion area. Select Canada and then go through each of the watersheds to learn about their location, their threats, and their health. After selecting a watershed to learn about, look at those watersheds’ sub-watersheds to learn more.
5. Switch between profile, threats, and health of each of the locations, watersheds and sub-watersheds.
The website is full of a ton of great information. If everyone was made aware of these issues, it would be a huge victory in securing and protecting our waters.
To learn more about watersheds in general, the website also has a really cool infographic that you can look at or download. Great for the classroom if you are a teacher.
Want to get involved? Click on the Loblaw Water Fund Projects tab to see on the ground restoration and monitoring projects that are made possible by Loblaws plastic bags fees. They granted 10 projects last year that fill in data gaps or partake in direct restoration of habitats.
Now that you have learned about this awesome tool, go use and share it!
WWF Canada Watershed Report
To watch The Water Brothers, visit their website.
The Water Brothers Website
Special thanks to Acura for hooking us up with the TLX V6 PAWS Elite to get up there.
Thanks as well to MEC for hooking up some indestructible shot glasses and a popcorn maker for fire pits. The shot glasses are pretty neat and come with a sealable case. Got to love MEC who also work with The Water Brothers I found out!