Reflections & Future Vision

For the last challenge (Challenge #4 of the Great Waters Challenge), we are tasked with reading blogs of other folks in the challenge. Youth from across Canada have been blogging about their water stories – check out this awesome map of where they all are!

Then, we are asked to creatively show our vision for the future of water, and show how we plan on getting there.

First, though, I learned from others by reading blog posts of other participants.

Penny F from Toronto thinks there’s a disconnect between urban people and their water. Jelena, also from Toronto, is great at making maps and analyzing data – she found possible correlations between development and river level changes in the Don River, and also discussed fish species. I learned from her that the Don River is stocked with salmon for sport fishing. Stephanie was the winner of the first round of GWC Level 1, and I learned from her explorations of the Humber River that it is stocked with Pacific Salmon, since the Atlantic Salmon are no longer in this river on their own. The Pacific Salmon survival rate is very low, so this re-introduction experiment isn’t working out. Stephanie also brought together a group of people to discuss water in a spiritual and emotional sense, guiding them through activities such as associating words with water, drinking water “infused” with emotions, and discussing personal relationships to water.

Kaylyn lives in High Prairie, Alberta, and has some super awesome stories to tell about scuba diving in deep lakes in Alberta (which I never knew was possible and now really want to go and do). She did an awesome job of bringing watershed issues to her group of board game lovers. I agree that nerds of all stripes love learning new things, so that was a great environment! Alli M explored Vancouver in much the way I explored Toronto, as cities in Canada have developed in similar ways: ignoring the environment, realizing its power, trying to restore it! Courtney, Brooke & Braidy in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, asked their school mates about what they thought of the Arctic Ocean, and many responses related to hunting, fishing, the Northwest Passage as gateway between oceans, and the extreme cold!

Among the City folks, the main thread that connected them all was the influence of development on water. Development, growth in human population, industrialization, urbanization, colonialism – I find these are all words associated with disconnecting humans from their water, and putting the environment second. Among non-City folks, human influence on water resources was also evident – such as the issues around lake levels in High Prairie Alberta or sea ice loss in Nunavut.

This Challenge and these reflections bring me to what I would like to see as my vision for Canada’s water future, and how I plan on getting there. The video explains more.

Thanks Waterlution for putting on this challenge, and thank you to all the Youth Advisory Board Members and fellow challenge participants for making it happen! I am looking forward to Level 2!

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