For more than 15 years, Nature Alberta has delivered the Living by Water (LBW) program, providing information to Alberta lake residents about healthy shoreline living. The program strives to inform and educate lake shore property owners about the importance of maintaining the integrity of the natural ecosystem associated with their lake property, while supporting suitable recreational use, preserving property values and ensuring use for future generations.
Nature Alberta has worked at over 30 lakes throughout the province and performed nearly 900 property consultations since the start of the program. Collaborating with local community and stewardship groups, we strive to provide the most up to date information, tools and resources to those who need it. We are working hard to help build a community of practice at lakes throughout Alberta.
Shorelines are one of the most ecologically significant areas, and they are also one of the most sensitive. Shorelines, and their associated riparian areas, provide many ecological goods and services from soil stabilization and erosion reduction, to filtering surface runoff and maintaining or improving water quality.
When property and water-based activities are combined, the resulting impact is referred to as a cumulative effect. Cumulative effects can contribute negatively to the deterioration of a lake. Alternatively, through the adoption of beneficial practices, cumulative effects can also improve conditions at a lake. Residents, visitors and day users have a shared responsibility to recognize the potential impacts our cumulative activities have on aquatic systems. We are working closely with local stewardship groups, municipalities and other environmental organizations to spread these messages. The LBW program encourages everyone to understand and respect the role shoreline habitats play in health of the lake. You can help your property and the lake by maintaining or improving your shoreline.
The property consultation is at the core of the LBW program. Through these one-on-one, free and confidential consultations, lake shore residents learn about the ecology of their lake, any environmental concerns associated with their lake, and they will understand how, as a resident, they can reduce their impact on the lake. Through the property consultation, our Shoreline Advisors work with property owners to provide a personalized experience for their property and needs. Over the course of the one-hour consultation, the Shoreline Advisor will cover topics such as:
All participants receive an individualized report outlining the consultation and results, along with any additional resources to support property management decisions. If you would like a more in-depth look at your property and lake shore practices, please contact us and sign up for a property consultation.
Nature Alberta always is hard at work updating the LBW program to ensure we continue to provide relevant information resources that lake shore residents need to make informed decisions on their properties. We have two Shoreline Advisors who will be visiting Alberta’s lakes this summer to perform one-on-one consultations for residents and to attend community events and workshops to help increase awareness about ways to keep our lakes healthy and usable. Stop and talk with our staff at some of the events going on at your lake this summer. If you would like to bring the program to your community, are interested in signing up for a home site consultation or would like one of our Shoreline Advisors to attend your local event please contact us.
This summer, to complement LBW, Nature Alberta is also bringing the Love Your Lake program to Alberta. This shoreline evaluation and stewardship program was developed by Watersheds Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Love Your Lake will be piloted at Wabamun and Crane Lakes this summer. Working with local partners, shorelines are assessed from a boat on a property-by-property basis using a standardized assessment protocol and datasheet. After every shoreline property on a lake is assessed, each shoreline landowner will receive access to an individualized property report consisting of information on the state of their shoreline and suggested voluntary actions for shoreline improvement.
For more information on Love Your Lake program in Alberta phone Jenna Curtis at 780-483-1885 ex 222 or email email@example.com. For general information about Love Your Lake and the shoreline stewardship resources offered by this program visit LoveYourLake.ca.
The LBW program has also been adapted for use by residents who live on or near urban lakes and storm water ponds. We also offer consultations for urban residents and the publication, Living Near Urban Lakes: Your Guide to Everyday Living in Urban Lake Communities will help you think about water in ways you may never have considered before. Check out our online store to purchase a copy. Contact us if you’re interested in a consultation.
On June 4, 2015, environmental leaders from across the province gathered in Edmonton for the announcement of the 24th annual Emerald Awards. Presented by the Alberta Emerald Foundation, these uniquely-Albertan awards showcase environmental excellence in nine cross-sectoral categories. Nature Alberta was honored to receive the 2015 Emerald Challenge Award: WATER for the Living by Water program. We also offer our congratulations to fellow award recipient in this category Trout Unlimited Canada for their Yellow Fish Road program. Check out the video.
In 1970, six natural history clubs joined together to form the Federation of Alberta Naturalists. Today, this same organization, known as Nature Alberta serves a membership of over 40 clubs and represents thousands of individuals across the province. Every one of these individuals share a passion for natural history.
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