Healthy Shorelines

What's our story?

To begin our story we first needed to define what our goal or "mission statement" was. Without a mission statement any steps we took may not have the desired outcome or be cost effective. What the VLWG wanted was "Healthy and functioning riparian areas and watersheds in Northern Alberta that provide communities with sustainable recreation and agriculture benefits." This became our mission statement. Discussion then started on how to make the mission work, resulting in many questions and issues being raised by the partnership. Development began on a plan that could achieve the mission through a community based approach. However, to test the approach a "model area" was needed. Vincent Lake and its watershed (10 km NW of St. Paul, Alberta.) was chosen because the recreation and agricultural uses were typical of many northeastern Alberta lakes, as were its associated riparian health problems. The group targeted its effort towards both the recreation and agriculture users, however the group did not have a method to carry out the steps toward achieving its healthy shoreline goal. This problem was quickly remedied when the Cows and Fish Program partners offered their four step implementation "process" as an option for the VLWG to try. They have used this process successfully in addressing riparian and watershed issues in southern and central Alberta. Those four steps are Education and Awareness, Team Building, Tool Building, and Community Based Action. As the group explored the Education and Awareness step the question came up about their role in passive" and "active" law enforcement. To learn what the VLWG's response to this was, and more information about the model's mission, implementation process, and target area, please click here.

Did you know that only about 1% of the world's water is fresh and about 1/4 of that 1% is in Canada.