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Watermarks from the West

IJC admin | 2017/11/22

By Jeff Kart



The IJC’s Great Lakes Connection newsletter has been highlighting Watermarks for more than a year --- from Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. But these video and written testimonials are just the beginning.

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (LOW) has been gathering Watermarks since 2015, and they span North America and the globe. The Watermark Project is an effort to collect and archive true stories about ways people interact with water. The IJC is working with LOW to capture Watermarks about the Great Lakes.

For the purposes of the IJC’s Water Matters newsletter, let’s look at submissions from outside the Great Lakes, in the western part of the transboundary swath that winds its way along the Canada-US border. If you’re looking for Watermarks from your area, see this interactive map. And submit your own.

Pins mark the locations of Watermarks contributed by people from across North America. Credit: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
Pins mark the locations of Watermarks contributed by people from across North America. Credit:
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

The Watermarks below reflect on water bodies in British Columbia, Montana and on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Chris Young

Chris Young of British Columbia recalls spending time at a family home on Cultus Lake every summer as a child and now with his children. “What I truly enjoy today is early in the morning on the first day we wake up on the first weekend of the year at the lake, and we turn on the tap. And the water is the freshest, best water you can imagine.”

Stephan Joyu remembers fly fishing for the first time, casting on the Flathead River in Montana. “I always loved the big lake and large open waters, because there was a sense of peacefulness. Since I’ve lived in big cities for most of my life, when I go to an open water, it makes me feel very calm and peaceful.”

Theresa McClenaghan loves the South Saskatchewan River on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, “an absolute treasure trove of environmental diversity.” The mélange made a big impression on her as a child, from sweet cactus berries to sour choke cherries and a “river meandering in both directions as far as the eye could see, but set in this otherworldly landscape that had been cut through the prairies and the badlands over a millennium.”

Jeff Kart is executive editor of the IJC’s monthly Great Lakes Connection and quarterly Water Matters newsletters.

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