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2023 Year in Review
AWC-WPAC and Friday Read | February 2024

Before 2024 gets into full swing, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of our achievements over the course of 2023. 

Here are some brief highlights: 

  • Supported 20 riparian and wetland projects to conserve or restore 250 acres of land 
  • Engaged with 35 communities across the watershed 
  • Hosted over 135 meetings or events 
  • Increased staff capacity by hiring on a 4th full-time staff member, two summer students who worked with the AWC from May to August, and leveraging the University of Alberta’s Adaptation and Resiliency Training (ART) program, as well as partnering with SAIT’s Integrated Water Management Capstone projects. 
  • Published 13 newsletters, 12 blog posts, and a colouring book! A benthic invertebrate report, community drinking water resiliency report, and landowner information packages were all developed in the last year and will be made available in the next few months! 

2023 was one of—if not the—busiest years of operation for the Athabasca Watershed Council, as well as an unprecedented year for forest fires and flooding across the province. We spent most of January gearing up for the busy year, and completing some strategic planning. 

In February 2023, we collaborated with the Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance and the Lesser Slave Watershed Council to host Water Management in Alberta’s Boreal

In March, the WPACs collaborated to host a World Water Day Webinar about Collaborating with Nature and Each Other. 

In April, the Athabasca Watershed Council participated in a garbage cleanup in the Town of Athabasca for Earth Day. 

In May, we hired two summer students and began our field season. We had planned a tree planting event with schools near Sangudo, which became a staff planting day due to the uncertainty of the wildfire situation. 

In June, we hosted our AGM in Lac La Biche, and hired on our ART intern Caity as a project coordinator. 

We participated in a number of school outreach events, including Pond Days with 4 different counties, and offered the X-Stream Science school program for the first time in Hinton, and in partnership with the Lesser Slave Watershed Council in Widewater. 

In July, we participated in the 2023 Fort Assiniboine Bicentennial Voyageur Canoe Brigade. 

In August we said goodbye to our summer students, and congratulations to our Watershed Science Coordinator on her marriage. You can read about our summer student’s experience with the Athabasca Watershed Council here

In September we welcomed Shayla Watson as our new ART intern to help us characterize private drinking water systems in the Athabasca watershed. We also traveled across much of the watershed for events and meetings, including for the ALMS conference, attended by Caity, Brian and Ashley in the photo above. 

In October we completed our CABIN sampling for our Upper Athabasca Biomonitoring project. 

We also participated in the 2023 WPAC summit in Drumheller. 

In November, we hosted an event on Plamondon Bay, Plamondon Creek Shorelines and the Lac La Biche Watershed, as well as a November Tawatinaw River Gathering. 

In December, we supported the inaugural Tawatinaw Valley Christmas Bird Count. 

We grew a number of project areas in 2023, and plan to do even more in 2024.