As a reminder, the FreshWater Catalogue (aka SSIFWC) is about
- raising community awareness about the island’s surface freshwater diversity and ecosystems diversity;
- gathering data on island freshwater in support of island-wide water resource quantification; and
- supporting the development of island area(s) watershed stewardship.
Our expanding field and “office” project volunteer group have collected reconnaissance and scouting data in more than 40 of the island’s watersheds, with some 20 routine sampling sites in 15 of these. We now have over 1700 freshwater-related field measurements across the island. See our online SSIWFC webmap for details.
Field volunteers are working within small (incipient) “Watershed Stewardship” groups, as local “StreamCatchers,” or as reconnaissance scouts for new sites and watershed areas, gathering a variety of data, including:
- creek(s) "on/off” status
- creek(s) flow rates and/or levels
- freshwater chemistry (pH, temperature and conductivity)
A 2019 SSI Foundation grant has allowed us to purchase additional equipment to support field flow and chemistry measurement work. We have joined and contributed to the Canadian Water Rangers – WorldWildlifeFund (WWF) “Canadian Watersheds Data Deficit" project and have been working on building relationships with other Canadian freshwater stewardship groups via the Canadian FreshWater Alliance.
A spin-off of the SSIFWC project cataloguing effort has been some small (but important) steps on naming unidentified and unnamed creeks and watersheds (to move away from “creek-to-be-named -I,” “-II”… and the “1983,” the “2097” watershed, to name but a few).
A critical part of our project work flow is being developed re connections to the key agencies and organizations that may benefit from our SSIWFC field data.
If interested in being in touch with what we are doing and some of our field and science findings, have a look at our SSIFWC Watershed Stewardship Group Facebook Group page.
And, of course, more volunteers means that we can do more! If you have a stream near you or know of significant wetlands that you can report on for us, please do let us know. If you have IT, GIS, data management, historical /archive research, or educator skills and are interested in being involved, please contact our SSIFWC project coordinator — john at jamssiwater[at]gmail[dot]com — for further details.