Lakes and rivers are the most sustainable source of freshwater and are essential for ecological function and social economic needs. Since Canada has more lake area than any other country, we have a responsibility to protect it. You can improve your lake health and shoreline environment with help from the Love Your Lake program.
Participating in Love Your Lake is a great way to gauge the health of your lake and become a steward of your local freshwater! Over the past 10years, Watersheds Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation have been proud to support waterfront communities coast to coast across Canada through the Love Your Lake program.
Love Your Lake is a shoreline evaluation program designed to encourage waterfront property owners to take proactive steps toward improving lake health by creating and maintaining healthier shorelines. Each property owner on an assessed lake receives a personalized and confidential report that outlines voluntary actions they can take on their property to protect their freshwater. Anyone can discover how to become a steward of their local freshwater and explore helpful tips to keep your shoreline happy and healthy for future generations by visiting LoveYourLake.ca.
SILT completed two shoreline restoration projects this fall at Twin Lakes and Skaha Lake, with support from Love Your Lake, Canadian Wildlife Federation and Watersheds Canada. Restoration plans were designed based on recommendations from the 2020 Love Your Lake property surveys, which can now be downloaded by shoreline property owners throughout the Okanagan.
The restoration projects included planting native shrubs, perennials and trees along the shoreline and within the riparian area on both lakes. The goal of these projects was to create a naturalized riparian buffer that will stabilize the bank, reduce erosion, and filter runoff into the lake. Adding native species and trees into the riparian buffer will also create wildlife habitat for aquatic and land-based species.
A special thank you to Sagebrush Nursery for their involvement in both restoration projects.
SILT is part of the coalition of non-profits involved in awarding the John Holdstock Scholarship annually, and this year’s recipient is Gillian Steele.
Angling and a love for British Columbia’s fish species has always been a passion for Gillian. Since birth, Gillian learned to appreciate and respect the natural resources of British Columbia. “My father introduced me to angling,” she explains, “and I have followed him along riverbanks since I could walk.
“Having now worked in the recreational sport fishing industry for many years, I have witnessed first-hand the changes, [the] mismanagement of fish and wildlife, and the toll our ever-expanding urban footprint is having on the environment. Angling and my experiences in the outdoors have shaped who I am as a person thus I will do everything in my power to solidify their continued existence in the future.”
Gillian is currently a Director of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia (SSBC), whose mandate is conserving wild steelhead and wild rivers in BC. The SSBC raises money to assist in funding projects directly related to wild steelhead management as well as to raise awareness of the continuing issues surrounding wild steelhead throughout the province. Says Gillian about the work, “I have been on the board of directors since 2014 and joined as a means to give back to a particular fishery that means so much to [me].” She goes on to explain, “one of the SSBC’s main focuses is the Thompson River and their remarkably unique population of summer run steelhead.
“It is situations and ongoing fights for the protection of species just like these that keep me involved but longing to do more. As an angler engulfed in the recreational angling industry, I feel it to be my own responsibility to make sure these opportunities are around for my children’s children.” With this, it seems elementary that Gillian would seek formal education in Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation discipline. “The intense and comprehensive program has been challenging but has opened my eyes to the complexity of natural resource management. My main goal after the completion of my education and into the professional world is to work toward preserving wild steelhead in British Columbia. Steelhead are my passion, have a special place in my heart, and are the fundamental driving force in my future aspirations.”
Well, thank you for your dedication to make British Columbia’s natural environment a rich and thriving one for generations to come, Gillian. Congratulations and good luck in your studies!
Trained crews from the Southern Interior Land Trust will be conducting shoreline assessments on Tuc-el-nuit Lake in June as part of the ongoing Love Your Lake program, aiming to help lakeside property owners learn how to protect water health and quality.
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