May 28, 2015 12:00 ET

WWF-Canada Joins Ottawa Riverkeeper to Support Citizen Science at AquaHacking Event

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - May 28, 2015) - On May 29 and 30, WWF-Canada is taking part in AquaHacking 2015 at the Ottawa River Summit in Gatineau. This unique event unites citizens, field experts and digital professionals who believe technology can serve Canada's waterways, with the same goal: that more data is the key to solving the issues that threaten the health of our watersheds today.

"It is important that through initiatives like the Ottawa River Summit, Canadians become aware of the lack of data and regular monitoring needed to ensure our watersheds are healthy. Through this initiative, Ottawa Riverkeeper is supporting change and helping local citizens to better use technology to get involved and know their watersheds," says James Snider, VP Freshwater, WWF-Canada.

As part of its Freshwater Health Assessments, WWF-Canada identified the Ottawa River as not meeting the minimum requirements for available and accessible monitoring data to confidently report on the watershed's health. Ottawa Riverkeeper says that many challenges around monitoring and assessing the river's health are related to the lack of coordination throughout the watershed, which spans two provinces and encompasses over 200 municipalities and many First Nation communities. Building on WWF's Freshwater Health Assessment, Ottawa Riverkeeper, a 2015 WWF-Canada Loblaw Water Fund grantee, is filling in the data gaps and working to raise the profile of the Ottawa River.

"The Ottawa River has effectively fallen through the management cracks," says Ottawa Riverkeeper Executive Director Meredith Brown. "We are working to change the situation, and with the help of the Loblaw Water Fund we can make a significant impact."

WWF-Canada will be releasing new results of its health and newly developed threats assessment for 50 per cent of Canada's watersheds in June 2015. For more information on our Freshwater Health Assessments, please visit

For more information about the Ottawa AquaHacking Summit, please visit

About WWF
WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About the Loblaw Water Fund
WWF's Loblaw Water Fund provides grants to registered charitable organizations and not-for-profits working on action-oriented projects that aim to conserve, protect, or restore freshwater habitats and the species living within them. This is the second year of grants in a three-year commitment; the 2016 grants will open for submissions in Fall 2015 at

About Ottawa Riverkeeper
Ottawa Riverkeeper is an organization that works to protect and improve the ecological health and diversity of the Ottawa River and its tributaries. For more information about their work, please visit

Quick Facts:

  • The Ottawa River provides drinking water to over two million people and is home to 96 species of fish, including 50 species at risk.
  • WWF-Canada's Loblaw Water Fund grantees have restored over 75 hectares of wetland and habitat for freshwater species, planted over 7,200 native trees and plants, and engaged more than 1,500 volunteers in monitoring and restoration efforts at 770 sites across the country.
  • Through the Freshwater Health and Threats Assessments, WWF-Canada will have assessed 100 per cent of Canada's watersheds by 2017.

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