July is Lake Appreciation Month and the BC Lake Stewardship Society is celebrating 26 years of supporting lake stewardship in BC! Our primary program is the BC Lake Stewardship & Monitoring Program (BCLSMP), a partnership with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. There have been many substantial accomplishments under this program which we will share more about during Lakes Appreciation Month.
Under the BCLSMP, 106 lake reports have been produced and posted on the BCLSS website to date. These reports contain data that has been validated through scientific quality assurance checks and the reports have been peer reviewed (reviewed by people with scientific expertise in the field of lake water quality and therefore provide scientifically defensible data for lake management). Present day water quality is now being compared to the high quality baseline data collected under this program to determine how the lakes have changed over time. For example, we recently published a report for Bridge Lake, summarizing volunteer collected data from 1996 to 2021. Thanks to incredible volunteer effort, this is one of the longest records we have on file.
BCLSS has also provided a large variety of training and support to lakeshore residents and others undertaking monitoring of lakes to help them collect scientifically valid data. Since 2012, BCLSS has conducted over 30 LakeKeepers Workshops throughout the province. This 1.5 day workshop provides participants with a greater understanding of lake ecology and health. Human impacts to watersheds and lakes are also covered. This knowledge increases the ability of citizens to steward their lakes, as they are equipped with a better understanding of the watershed and potential land-use impacts.
We appreciate the support of our volunteers and members. Visit our website to learn more about our programs and sign-up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on all upcoming events and freshwater news.