Okanagan Basin Water Board Celebrations

There’s something for everyone as the Okanagan Basin Water Board and its outreach program Okanagan WaterWise prepares to celebrate UN World Water Day and Canada Water Week, March 16 to 22. The theme this year: wetlands! There is a screening of several wetland documentaries, a guided wetland tour, the ever-popular – and free – public panel discussion, and a contest for kids with prizes including boat cruises!

The fun begins on Monday, March 16 when the OBWB launches its annual Okanagan Water Wise Challenge on Monday, March 16 with the theme “Get Wild about Wetlands!” School classes and individuals throughout the Okanagan, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, are invited to explore an Okanagan wetland and report back, submitting a multi-media entry that explains what they saw, why the wetland they visited is special, and what people can do to protect these cherished places.

On Wednesday, March 18, organizers have scheduled a line-up of free events including a series of wetland documentaries to be screened between 1 p.m. and 3:50 p.m. at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna, followed by a guided tour of Rotary Marshes from 4 to 5 p.m., and finally the very popular panel discussion and meet & greet from 6 to 8 p.m., again at the Laurel Packinghouse.

Panelists include:

  • Anna Warwick Sears, Okanagan Basin Water Board – Executive Director, talking about the growing importance of wetlands worldwide and in the Okanagan
  • Lael Parrott, Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) – Director, on research regarding the economic value of wetlands
  • Grant Furness, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural resource Operations –Ecosystems Section Head, speaking on wetlands from a provincial perspective
  • Jillian Tamblyn, OBWB Okanagan Wetlands Strategy – Contract Project Manager, regarding efforts to restore and protect Okanagan wetlands
  • Todd Cashin, City of Kelowna – Sustainability Coordinator, on local government wetland efforts
  • Bryn White, South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program – Program Manager, providing the perspective of a non-profit working for several years on Okanagan wetland projects.

The panel event, and the film screenings are free but seating is limited and pre-registration is required. Visit www.OkWaterWise.ca for more information.

Some other links: