CBWN is happy to report that the new project to enhance community engagement in wetlands restoration is now underway. Doug Switzer from Nakusp has been hired as Community Engagement Coordinator and, as the job title suggests, he will be working with groups and individuals to encourage community members and groups to become more involved in issues related to wetland restoration and preservation.

Burton Flats: Photo: BCWF

Volunteer training and recruitment are a large part of this initiative. CBWN’s goal is to not only increase awareness of wetlands issues but to also pair professionals with volunteers in order to train community members about wetlands monitoring and restoration in the field.

Community collaboration is another important aspect of the project and to help facilitate that collaboration, the project will invite existing community groups, relevant government agencies, professional scientists, First Nations and individuals to form a steering committee similar to the Slocan based group; Slocan Wetlands Assessment and Monitoring Project (SWAMP). This group will help to provide both scientific and community based knowledge and guidance to the project.

We also plan to hold three community events during the project. Once again, these events will be designed to increase awareness and public attention to wetlands issues but, hopefully will also provide some opportunities for first-hand field work in wetlands restoration. Stay tuned for full details about locations, times and dates.

We will have a booth set up at ToadFest so come and visit us there and we can provide you with further details about the project and how you might get involved.

For further information, please contact Doug Switzer at dswitzer@nakusp.net or visit the Columbia Basin Watershed Networks website at cbwn.ca.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of WWF-Canada and Loblaw Companies Limited.