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					          Adopt A RIVER



Complementary information about Adopt a River Program for schools,
         regionals coordinators and associated groups.
                            In collaboration with the Biosphere of Environment Canada,
                           the Comité de valorisation de la rivière Beauport coordinates
                                             the Adopt a River Network.




                                      Financial parteners and collaborators :




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                           2
Table of contents


1. Adopt a River : a water monitoring program for young people                            4
2. Dive in action !                                                                       5
           First component : Benthic macro-invertebrates                                   5
           Second component : Physicochemical and bacteriological analyses of the water    5
           What happens afterward ?                                                        5
3. Partners of Adopt a River program                                                      6
           Exemple of the organization of program partners                                 7
4. The principles oft the Adopt a River program                                           8
5. Participation as a school                                                              9
           The benefits of participating in Adopt a River                                  9
           The responsabilities of participating in Adopt a River                          9
           Budget                                                                          9
           Procedures for joining Adopt a River                                           11
6. Marks of the program’s calibre                                                         13
7. Participation as a regional coordinator                                                14
           Who are the regional coordinators ?                                            14
           The benefits of participating in Adopt a River                                 14
           The responsabilities of participating in Adopt a River                         14
           How to become a regional coordinator ?                                         15
8. Participation as an associated group                                                   16
           Who are associated groups ?                                                    16
           The benefits of participating in Adopt a River                                 16
           The responsabilities of participating in Adopt a River                         16
           How to become an associated group ?                                            16
9. Collaborators                                                                          17
10. Other water-related environmental monitoring programs for young people                18
           Discover your River                                                            18
           Operation Wellspring                                                           18
           Fish Habitat... Watch out !                                                    19
           Freshwater fish ecowatch network (FFEN)                                        19
11. To contact                                                                            20




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                           3
1. Adopt a River : a water monitoring program for
   young people


Environmental monitoring is the long-term study of the states of species, populations and
environmental indicators in order to observe the changes that occur in ecosystems over time.
Monitoring biodiversity is vital to improve how we understand the natural world and raise
awareness of changes that occur in the environment. Environmental monitoring can help
protect biodiversity. The data collected through such programs can serve as early indicators of
problems in ecosystems, which can lead to studies of the sources of the ecological changes
occurring and the possible reduction of their harmful effects.

The Adopt a River water monitoring program gives young people the tools they need to:



         KNOW
         The project teaches them about aquatic ecosystems and to use everything they have
         learned about the subject, in combination with their beliefs and values.

         BE INSPIRED
         The project motivates students to get involved in preserving their local environment.

         ACT
         The project gives them the means to take concrete action to restore a part of an
         ecosystem or to raise awareness in their community.1




1
    from the SVP Model, presented by Rochon, A. Savoir, Vouloir, Pouvoir apprendre à mieux vivre, Éducation populaire, 1990.

Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                                               4
2. Dive in action !

Adopt a River immerses young people in the subject of water. Using simple scientific
equipment and teaching materials, the program gives 10-to-15-year-olds a chance to take an
active part in conserving aquatic ecosystems.

The project begins by choosing a challenge with respect to the community's waterway. The
project then has two main sections that lead the students into action.



First component : Benthic macro-invertebrates
The first part of the project consists of collecting and identifying benthic macro-invertebrates
that live on the riverbed. Benthic macro-invertebrates such as insect larvae, mollusks, crayfish,
leeches, and worms are aquatic invertebrates that live out a part of their lifecycles in the
water. Since they are particularly sensitive to chemical and physical changes to their habitats,
they are excellent indicators of the overall environmental quality of a river. The data collected,
such as the variety and number of specimens from different groups, thus provide clues to the
river's state of health.



Second component : Physicochemical and bacteriological analyses
of the water
This section deals with the essence of a river: water and its physicochemical characteristics.
The parameters investigated include turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, hardness,
and the presence of coliform bacteria. The content of this unit is minimal and serves to define
and describe the parameters, methods and activities in order to ensure that the project has a
safe, structured and scientific foundation. With these analyses, we can get an idea of the
state of health of the river.



What happens afterward ?
Using the data they have gathered, the students can diagnose the health of the river. After
they have written a report, they will be able to identify the actions needed to improve the
river's environment: raising awareness, clean-up activities, shoreline restoration or revitalization.
The data obtained will also be used to inform citizens living near the river about the state of
their waterway (to consult the reports www.cvrb.qc.ca - Projets éducatifs - Adopt a River -
Reports).




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                    5
3. Partners of the Adopt a River program


   The Biosphère of Environment Canada is the program's creator and national coordinator.

   In 1999, development and management of the program was transferred to the Comité
   de valorisation de la rivière Beauport (CVRB). The CVRB, the Biosphère and the Canadian
   Museum of Nature form a coordination committee that sets the program's development
   guidelines.

   At the regional level, the program is managed by organizations that are highly involved in
   their communities:
     - the Canadian Museum of Nature, for the Outaouais region and Eastern Ontario ;
     - the Alma-Jonquière ZIP, for the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region ;
     - the Comité pour la restauration du Marais de Kingsbury (MAKI), for the
       Richmond region ;
     - the des Seigneuries ZIP, for the Lanaudière and northern Montérégie regions ;
     - the Sud de l'Estuaire ZIP, for the Lower St. Lawrence ;
     - SCABRIC (Société de conservation et d'aménagement du bassin de la rivière
       Châteauguay), for the southern Montérégie region ;
     - the Corporation CHARMES, for the city of Sherbrooke ;
     - the Lac-St-Pierre ZIP, for the Lac-St-Pierre region (Sorel to Bécancour and Berthierville
       to Pointe-du-Lac) ;
     - Éco-Nature, for the Laval region ;
     - the CVRB, for the Quebec City region and areas lacking regional coordinators.

   Environmental groups wishing to get involved in their communities can help in local
   delivery of the program as associated groups. This is the case with the Corporation
   d'Aménagement et de Protection du bassin versant de la Rivière Ste-Anne (CAPSA) and
   the Comité de Bassin versant de la Rivière Kamouraska (COBAKAM).

   In 2004-2005, 52 schools (the primary participants in the program) monitored 45 rivers in
    13 regions of Quebec and Eastern Ontario.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                   6
Example of the organization of program partners




                              Biosphère
                                                                    Coordination comitee




                                   CVRB                                               CMN




                                            Regional coordinators




  School         School            School    School     School        School    School      School




                                                         Associated group




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                     7
4. The principles of the Adopt a River program


     ACCESSIBILITY
     The cost of the program should as low as possible so that all those who wish to
     participate can do so.

     SAFETY
     The physical safety of participants must be ensured at all times.

     RESPECT
     Respect is essential, towards both the environment and other people.

     NEUTRALITY
     The program must never be associated with acts that are controversial or of a political,
     religious or racial nature.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                8
5. Participation as a school

The benefits of participating in Adopt a River
By joining the Adopt a River network, you are taking part in a program in which you :
   implement project-based teaching ;
   apply scientific knowledge to real questions ;
   experience data collection in the field ;
   integrate different school subjects ;
   take part in monitoring the state of waterways in Quebec and Ontario ;
   become a member of the ObservAction Network of the Biosphère of Environment Canada ;
   bring visibility to your school through the websites of the CVRB and the Biosphère of
    Environment Canada ;
   receive the Eau-Nouvelles newsletter, which provides information about the program and
    various environmental subjects.



The responsibilities of participating in Adopt a River
Before registering for Adopt a River, it is important to understand the constraints and
responsibilities that participation involves. Ways to overcome the difficulties stated below are
well described in the program guides. The program coordinator for your region is also there
to help.

Participation in the program requires :
  significant logistical and administrative planning ;
  a great deal of school time (spread over the school year) ;
  funds to purchase equipment ;
  teacher attendance at a training session ;
  writing an annual report.



Budget
For your information, average program costs are outlined below. The amounts may be higher
or lower depending on the number of classes participating, current prices, and whether or not
the school already owns some of the equipment. The CVRB and/or your regional coordinator
can assist you in finding the funding necessary to carry out the program.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                               9
First year
                                                                             Approximate cost
     Pedagogical guides, training, logistical assistance, field
     assistance, CVRB membership                                                100,00 $

     Scientific equipment *                                                    2 500,00 $

     Travel costs to reimburse the CVRB or the regional coordinator           according to
     for training and fieldtrips                                              present rates

     Meal and lodging costs to reimburse the CVRB or the regional
     coordinator when travel is necessary                                     If applicable

     Transportation costs for class                                           If applicable

     Cost of substitute teacher during the training session
     and fieldtrips                                                           If applicable

     * Equipment may be funded by various foundations, organizations and businesses.



Subsequent years
                                                                             Approximate cost
     Costs for physicochemical and bacteriological analysis
     kit refills                                                                200,00 $

     Equipment replacement                                                    If applicable

     Travel costs to reimburse the CVRB or the regional coordinator           according to
     for training and fieldtrips                                              present rates

     Transportation costs for class                                           If applicable

     Cost of substitute teacher during the training session and fieldtrips    If applicable




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                10
Procedures for joining Adopt a River

Registration and contract
Before beginning the project, a contract must be signed between your group, the CVRB, and,
if applicable, your regional coordinator. By signing the contract, you agree to carry out the
entire project for a period of three years, and your coordinator agrees to provide the
necessary logistical support. You also automatically become a member of the CVRB and the
ObservAction Network of the Biosphère. After you sign the contract, you will receive the
project guides and the access codes for the Internet database.

Training
Before beginning the project, you must take a one-day training session, given by the CVRB
or, if applicable, your regional coordinator. The session will cover the topics of organization,
handling equipment for measurement and capture, macro-invertebrate identification, and
writing the report and placing it on the Internet site. The training session is also a time to
answer any questions you may have. Choose a date that is convenient for you as early as
possible. Note that the training sessions take place in the spring and the fall.

Reading the guides
You will get a good idea of what your participation involves after reading the Teacher's
Guide. It is also vital that you carefully read the Participation Guide before introducing it to
your class.

Logistical and administrative planning
The project requires careful administrative and logistical planning on your part. Good
preparation will avoid last-minute headaches.

Administrative planning mainly involves fundraising, getting various forms of consent, and
obtaining the support of the school's administration and your colleagues. Logistical planning
consists mainly of purchasing or making equipment, storing equipment, and all other
project-related planning. We suggest that you involve your class in this process.

Purchasing scientific equipment
If your school does not have the budget needed to purchase this equipment, you will have to
apply to grant programs to cover these costs. The Teacher's Guide contains all the information
concerning grant applications. Once you obtain the necessary funds, you can choose to
purchase the equipment yourself or ask the CVRB to fill out your order.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                   11
Student preparation
The goal of the planning meetings is to prepare students for the various tasks they will be
required to carry out in the field and to give them the theory they need to understand the
concepts they will be dealing with. These meetings can take place during class time or as an
extra-curricular activity.

Fieldtrips
We recommend a minimum of two fieldtrips. The first is dedicated to finding a suitable site
and creating a detailed description. The second, ideally in the fall or spring, is for collecting
data. However, depending on the time available (whole day or half day) and the number of
sites chosen, it may be necessary to adjust the number of fieldtrips. You can discuss the
various possible fieldtrip scenarios with your coordinator during your training session.

Your regional coordinator or someone from the CVRB will accompany you on your first
fieldtrips to ensure that proper sampling and identification technique is being used and to
answer any questions.

Writing the report
Once you have collected the data, the results will be communicated by way of a report
written by the students directly on the CVRB website.

Actions
In addition to its educational aims, the Adopt a River project also has environmental goals.
After your results have been published, you can take a number of actions to improve and/or
protect your river and the surrounding environment.

The simple act of writing an article for the local paper, inviting the media to a fieldtrip, making
posters about the project to put up in the hallways of the school, or sending your report to
elected officials are all actions that raise awareness in the community and the rest of the
school. You can also join forces with an environmental group in your region, which could
help you carry out a more ambitious task, such as restoring a section of the river, for example.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                    12
6. Marks of the program's calibre


Testimonials
"We really enjoyed doing the 'Adopt a River' project. We learned all about the Mistouk river,
and we now know why it is so important to take care of it! We hope that next year, other
students from our school will get a chance to do it too."
Students of St-Léon school, Labrecque

"The highlights of our experience were the teamwork, the different tests we were able to do,
the sense of responsibility we got, and the fact that we learned while having fun. We found
it to be a really, really worthwhile experience and we'd love to do it again."
Students of Collège St-Joseph, Hull



Awards
Adopt a River won a 2004 Phénix de l'environnement award in the category "Individual or
organization carrying out a public awareness program."It also won a Thomas G. Brydges
Award of Environment Canada's Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, given to"
those volunteers who have demonstrated enthusiastic leadership and commitment to
advancing ecological monitoring and research in Canada."




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                          13
7. Participation as a regional coordinator


Who are the regional coordinators ?
The regional coordinators are organizations that :
  are well-established and recognized in their fields ;
  have a proven track record of community involvement ;
  work in areas related to environmental conservation and/or environmental education ;
  have, or have access to, expertise in natural sciences ;
  foster partnership and networking.

They help to :
  widen the reach of the Adopt a River network throughout the St. Lawrence - Great Lakes
  watershed and beyond ;
  facilitate management of the program in terms of logistics, promotion, training, and support ;
  increase the number of participants in the program while ensuring the quality of support
  among all participants ;
  encourage the creation of ties between schools and their communities ;
  provide community organizations with a proven, "ready to use" project that can help
  them achieve their mission ;
  boost the project's impact on awareness, knowledge and positive actions in the area of
  riparian ecosystem conservation ;
  foster a sense of belonging to one's community and to a huge movement that cares for the
  St. Lawrence - Great Lakes watershed.



The benefits of participating in Adopt a River
Participating in Adopt a River allows regional coordinators to :
  increase their environmental awareness activities among young people ;
  get involved in the community through a high-quality, well-tested program ;
  gain national visibility through partners' promotional activities ;
  attend an annual coordinators' meeting to exchange ideas, experiences and expertise with
  organizations from various regions who have shown leadership in their communities.



The responsibilities of participating in Adopt a River
Taking part in Adopt a River as a regional coordinator also confers responsibilities :
  to provide proper training to teachers in one's region ;
  to accompany participating groups into the field each year (at least one group per school) ;

Background paper - Adopt a River                                                             14
   to motivate the groups under one's responsibility through various forms of contact ;
   to assist participants by providing, according to their means, the support needed to
   successfully carry out the project ;
   to gather the information needed to properly manage the program and forward it to the
   CVRB ;
   send the Eau-Nouvelles newsletter to one's participating groups ;
   to transmit all information or communications from the CVRB, the Biosphère or another
   coordinator to one's groups in the program ;
   to attend the annual regional coordinators' meeting ;
   to promote the program, according to one's means, and recognize participating groups ;
   to recruit new participants, according to one's means.



How to become a regional coordinator ?
Interested groups should contact the CVRB, who will explain the steps necessary in detail.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                             15
8. Participation as an associated group


Who are associated groups ?
Associated groups are environmental organizations who wish to support the schools in their
communities participating in Adopt a River, without having those schools under their
responsibility. They hence work in collaboration with the regional coordinator for their region.
Associated groups share precious local expertise with participating schools, thereby helping to
enrich the educational and scientific experience of Adopt a River participants.



The benefits of participating in Adopt a River
Participating in Adopt a River allows associated groups to :
  increase their environmental awareness activities among young people ;
  get involved in the community through a high-quality, well-tested program ;
  gain visibility through the CVRB website ;
  in some cases, gain local visibility through the promotional activities of schools and the
  regional coordinator.



The responsibilities of participating in Adopt a River
Since participation in Adopt a River as an associated group is voluntary, it confers no
obligations other than that of adherence to the principles of Adopt a River (see section 4)
and assisting in the training of the participating schools. We also strongly recommend that
where possible, associated groups :
   support participants in finding a site, interpreting data, and carrying out an action ;
   provide support during fieldtrips.



How to become an associated group ?
Interested groups should contact the CVRB, who will explain the steps necessary in detail.




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                               16
9. Collaborators


Scientific and pedagogical partners
   Biosphère of Environnement Canada
   Canadian Museum of Nature
   Ministère du Développement Durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Québec



Financial partners
   Biosphère d'Environnement Canada
   Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - PromoScience program
   Québec City- Borough of Beauport
   RésEau of Environnement Canada




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                        17
10. Other water-related environmental monitoring programs
    for young people


Discover your River
The goal of the project Discover Your River is to have children from 6 to 8 years old,
discover the water way near their home and therefore, make them aware of the
importance of this ecosystem. Discover Your River permits teachers of grade 1 and 2,
to integrate many scholars disciplines (English, mathematics, arts, sciences, ...) and
educational concept such as team work. The Beaver Scout group can also participate
at this project which integrate many concepts related their apprenticeship.

With a complete pedagogical kit, the groups can realize the project within a few weeks.
Through 4 stories, guided with Whiskers, the river otter and her friends, many activities and
experiences will permit the students to discover the river.To put in practice their new
knowledge and discover their water way, the children are invited to go near the surroundings
of their river for other activities. They will finalize this great project by drawing a postal card
which will present their discoveries.

To find out more : www.cvrb.qc.ca (Click on Projets éducatifs - French only)

Operation Wellspring
Operation Wellspring consist of a surveillance project of groundwater by children. It main
goal is to inquire a consciousness of the water in our lives and analyse the groundwater of
the community (spring or well) in order to discover if it contains nitrate and coliforms.
Operation Wellspring permits elementary teachers of grade 4 to 6 to integrate, inside a
stimulating project, many scholars disciplines, (nature sciences, English, mathematics,
computer, …).

By using pedagogical documents, the groups start the project in the classroom by realizing
workshops, experiences and activities which are presented in different modules. These modules
covers a variety of subjects, such as water proprieties, the water cycle, the groundwater and
the sources of pollution. Then, the children go out in the field to measure themselves, in wells
or in springs, the presence or the non-presence of nitrates and coliforms. Following the
outgoing in the field activity, the students write a report and acquire more knowledge by
using more modules.

To find out more : www.cvrb.qc.ca (Click on Projets éducatifs - French only)


Background paper - Adopt a River                                                                18
Fish Habitat... Watch out !
The Fish Habitat…Watch Out ! project offers school students to study the fish habitat
through observation of a local watercourse and the organization of a fishing activity. Fish
Habitat…Watch Out ! is a great opportunity for teachers, grades 10 to 12, to integrate
numerous school subjects (science and technology, computers, English, …) into a
concrete, stimulating project.

Using various documents and data gathering tools, groups discover the fish habitat throughout
many dynamic educational activities. They will learn the important biological parameters of
the fish habitat (shelter, current speed, erosion, vegetation canopy,…) and be initiated to
various methods of observation during field trips. Groups will then be invited to organize a
fishing activity, in collaboration with a local environmental group, to discover the fish species
that live in the studied habitat. Afterwards, they will have to initiate a concrete action to
protect the fish habitat, or to raise the awareness of the community towards it.

To find out more: www.cvrb.qc.ca (Click on Projets éducatifs - French only)

Freshwater fish ecowatch network (FFEN)
FFEN involves young people from Secondary IV and V in monitoring the health of freshwater
fish in the St. Lawrence watershed. To accomplish this, each group carries out several scientific
fishing activities in the waterway of their choice. After capturing the fish, the students examine
them and collect various data such as length and weight, the presence of parasites and
abnormalities, etc. The data collected are compiled into a report that is posted on the
Biosphère's website. The data accumulated over the years will help to establish an overview
of the health of freshwater fish.

To find out more: www.biosphere.ec.gc.ca (Click on ObservAction Network then The
Projects.)




Background paper - Adopt a River                                                               19
11. To contact


    Comité de valorisation de la rivière Beauport (CVRB)
    (Quebec City region and areas lacking regional coordinators)
    69 avenue Juchereau, C.P. 5187
    Beauport (Québec) G1E 6P4
    Telephone : (418) 666-6169
    Fax : (418) 821-7069
    Contact : Nathalie Piedboeuf et Marise Jean-Jean
    E-mail : adopte@cvrb.qc.ca
    Web site : www.cvrb.qc.ca

    Comité pour la restauration du Marais de Kingsbury (MAKI)
    (Richmond region)
    370, rue du Moulin, bureau 3
    Kingsbury (Québec) J0B 1X0
    Telephone : (819) 847-2252
    Contact : Caroline Pelletier
    E-mail : caroline.pelletier@usherbrooke.ca

    Alma-Jonquière ZIP
    (Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region)
    425, rue Sacré-Cœur Ouest, suite 202
    Alma (Québec) G8B 1M4
    Telephone : (418) 668-8181
    Fax : (418) 668-3466
    Contact : Lynn Delisle
    E-mail : lynnzip@qc.aira.com
    Web site : www.zipalma-jonquiere.com

    Des Seigneuries ZIP
    (région de Lanaudière et du Nord de la Montérégie)
    100, rue Fabre
    Joliette (Québec) J6E 9E3
    Téléphone : (418) 755-6500
    Fax : (418) 755-1653
    Contact : Amélie Benoît
    E-mail : a.benoit@zipseigneuries.com
    Web site : www.zipseigneuries.com


Background paper - Adopt a River                                   20
    Lac Saint-Pierre ZIP
    (Lac St-Pierre region)
    100, avenue St-Jacques
    Louiseville (Québec) J5V 1C2
    Telephone : (819) 228-1384
    Fax : (819) 228-1385
    Contact : Louise Corriveau
    E-mail : info@comiteziplsp.org
    Web site : www.comiteziplsp.org

    Sud de l'Estuaire ZIP
    (Lower St. Lawrence)
    53, rue Saint-Germain Ouest, Bureau B-418
    Rimouski (Québec) G5L 4B4
    Telephone : (418) 722-8833
    Fax : (418) 722-8831
    Contact : Marie-Noëlle Bourassa
    E-mail : zipse@globetrotter.net
    Web site : www.zipsud.org

    Corporation CHARMES
    (City of Sherbrooke)
    1010 rue Ste-Thérèse
    Sherbrooke (Québec) J1K 2V1
    Telephone : (819) 821-5893
    Fax : (819) 821-5461
    Contact : Amy-Valérie Olivier
    E-mail : service@charmes.org
    Web site : www.charmes.org

    Éco-Nature
    (Laval region)
    345 boul. Sainte-Rose
    Laval (Québec) H7L 1M7
    Telephone : (450) 622-1020
    Fax : (450) 622-8050
    Contact : Robert Bisson
    E-mail : robertbisson@qc.aira.com
    Web site : www.parc-mille-iles.qc.ca

Background paper - Adopt a River                21
    The Biosphère of Environment Canada
    160, chemin Tour de l'Isle, Ile Sainte-Hélène
    Montréal (Québec) H3C 4G8
    Telephone : (514) 496-8279
    Fax : (514) 283-5021
    Contact : Thérèse Baribeau
    E-mail : therese.baribeau@ec.gc.ca
    Web site : www.biosphere.ec.gc.ca

    Canadian Museum of Nature
    (Outaouais region and Eastern Ontario)
    C.P. 3443, Succursale « D »
    Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 6P4
    Telephone : (613) 566-4708
    Fax : (613) 364-4022
    Contact : Catherine Dumouchel
    E-mail : cdumouchel@mus-nature.ca
    Web site : http://nature.ca

    SCABRIC (Société de conservation et d'aménagement du bassin de la
    rivière Châteauguay)
    (Southern Montérégie region)
    58 rue Saint-Joseph
    Sainte-Martine (Québec) J0S 1V0
    Telephone : (450) 427-2555
    Fax : (450) 427-5018
    Contact : Geneviève Audet
    E-mail : g.audet@rivierechateauguay.qc.ca
    Web site : www.rivierechateauguay.qc.ca




Background paper - Adopt a River                                        22

				
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