Media Release – August 12, 2010
Groups Launch Watershed Survey
The Shuswap Watershed Alliance is a coalition of eight organizations that work to help protect the health of our region’s environment. Today, the Alliance released a survey to gauge the level of public support for implementation of the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) Strategic Plan which addresses many of the problems facing our watershed.
“We believe that the general public is most concerned about the declining health of our lakes, rivers and streams and wants to see governments work together to find solutions,” explained Jim Cooperman, SEAS president. “This survey will provide an opportunity for the public to send this message to our political leaders,” Cooperman added.
“It is encouraging to see that the Thompson Nicola Regional District has supported SLIPP implementation by approving their share of the cost to the three regional districts in the watershed,” said Bob Eadie, president of the Friends of Mara Lake. “And another positive sign is that Sicamous Mayor Malcolm MacLeod is willing to pay their share of the costs,” said Eadie.
Recently Premier Gordon Campbell awarded the 2009/1010 Premier’s Award to SLIPP stating: “The process and resulting strategic plan now serves as a blueprint for jurisdictions around B.C.” Despite this success, implementation of the plan remains stalled as the Columbia-Shuswap and North Okanagan Regional Districts have yet to commit the funds needed for the proposed pilot project, even though many directors support the endeavour.
“Lakeshore residents often see indications of declining water quality and now after two algae blooms, it is clear that the proposed comprehensive high tech water monitoring program needs to be implemented,” stressed Ray Nadeau, president of the Shuswap Water Action Team. “Since the regional districts are not asking the public if they want to see this project funded, we have decided to undertake this survey to do just that, explained Nadeau.
Volunteers will be taking the survey to the public. The watershed website will also contain an audio powerpoint backgrounder and will have links to government videos that explain the SLIPP plan and the operations of the long established Okanagan Water Basin Board.
“We hope that this survey goes ‘viral’ so ultimately thousands of people from Shuswap communities access it through social networking. When the survey answers are tabulated in mid-September we plan to present the results to both regional districts at their monthly meeting,” noted Cooperman.
Ray Nadeau, 675-2435
Jim Cooperman, 679-3693, cell 319-4197
Bob Eadie, 250-836-2508, cell 403-589-5495
SLIPP implementation backgrounder PowerPoint