Knowledge is the most powerful tool that you have for protecting water ecosystems.
You can learn more about water and our water ecosystems—and you can help to protect them. There are lots of groups and resources for conserving water, cleaning up lakes and rivers, and protecting the living things that rely upon those ecosystems.
Think about your own actions at home, at school or out of doors:
- Do you use water wisely?
- Do you notice how your actions, and those of others, affect the environment?
- Do you protect water by properly disposing of hazardous materials?
Learn about threats to water and about cleaning up our water ecosystems. Or, join a club or network in your hometown, across the country or around the world. (Perhaps you'll find one that interests you in our list of clubs, on page 2).
Working together, people can make a difference in different ways:
- telling other people about water resources
- explaining what scientists are learning about ecosystems
- conducting projects that monitor and clean up streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes and even the ocean
- persuading governments, businesses and other groups to change their practices.
A Great Success
Thousands of people across Canada have participated in the Yellowfish Road programme. Using bright yellow paint, they painted a symbol of a fish near storm sewers. The symbol reminds us that everything that flows into the sewer flows eventually into a river.
The programme started in 1991. In 18 years, volunteers have painted 10 449 storm sewers and distributed 44 212 information flyers.
Success Stories on page 3
Visit these web sites for information and ideas about water resources and projects.
This project focuses on watersheds and water resources.
- See a map of your town's watershed and the ocean basin that it drains into.
- Learn about local water issues.
- Find local environmental groups.
- Try interactive maps of water conditions and water quality stations.
Atlas of Canada
- View maps of Canada's freshwater resources. You can look at water locations, including drainage patterns, glaciers, ice fields, groundwater and wetlands.
- Explore maps of recreational water uses, such as canoeing, boating, fishing and swimming.
- Look at maps of water that is used for farming, industry and households.
Web Site about Fresh Water from Environment Canada
This site gathers information about fresh water produced by Environment Canada.
Science and Technology for Canadians (Water Links)
A selection of web resources about water. Find information, games, teacher resources, etc.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Ocean Section)
This site offers information about the three oceans that border Canada, their ecosystems, the kind of fishing that's suitable, etc.
Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems
Information from Environment Canada.
Canadian Wildlife Service
Information about wildlife, their natural habitats, species at risk, etc.
National Water Research Institute
Led by Environment Canada.
"Water for Life" Decade
This web site of the United Nations offers much information about worldwide access to water. The years 2005 to 2015 have been declared the International Decade for Action "Water for Life".
International Network on Water, Environment and Health
A network of the United Nations. Under the Thematic Areas index on the left-hand side of the page, there are links to information about global water issues.