2019 marks the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program's (OCCP) 11th year supporting collaboration for conservation. The OCCP model continues to be effective in building partnerships, sharing resources, and delivering on the Okanagan Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

 

The Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program is focused on building the capacity and financial mechanisms to support conservation, one way we are working towards this goal is the establishment and support of community conservations funds.

OCCP is working with school teachers and administrators, the Faculty of Education UBC Okanagan, Wildrose Native Traditions, and the Okanagan Wise Water Program to develop resources and materials that will assist teachers in leading environmental lessons that support the new B.C. Curriculum. The lesson plans will incorporate an Okanagan perspective for species at risk, ecosystems, and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.

Special contribution from www.GreenOkanagan.org - Green Okanagan, or GO for short, is a registered non-profit organization based in Kelowna. GO was founded with the mandate to progress sustainability on an individual level and focuses on breaking down the zero-waste lifestyle in an approachable way while sharing local information. 

Relaxation, fitness, family fun, delicious food—sounds like a dream vacation at an all-inclusive resort. But, believe it or not, this can all be found in a simple backyard garden

Be a part of returning sockeye salmon to the Okanagan river system.

Join members of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation and over 430 students from local schools for the ceremonial release of 10,000 Okanagan Sockeye Salmon fry. The ceremonial release takes place annual so that kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ (cause to come back) will continue. 

Clean, plentiful fresh water and natural landscapes are a big reason why the Okanagan is such a great place to live. However, our lakes and surrounding natural areas are facing challenges, one being significant damage to the shoreline ecosystems caused by flooding. Damage caused by flooding strains sensitive lake ecosystems, destroys habitat, and has a detrimental effect on the health of our lakes.

Border Free Bees is pleased to announce the expansion of The Bee Ambassador Project to the entire continent! 

"Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right."United Nation’s World Water Day

Canada has some of the world’s last wild places. Are we keeping our promise to protect them?

In 2010, Canada committed to protecting a large amount of natural land by 2020 – Aichi Biodiversity targets.

Our world is facing down what scientists call the Sixth Extinction Event — a dramatic decline of the world’s living species, driven in part by habitat loss.

Are you looking for ways to connect with nature? Would you like to meet like-minded people and support local biodiversity conservation efforts? 

Here at OCCP, we know collaboration and community involvement are key elements supporting biodiversity conservation. Which is why we've rounded up a list of local citizen-led naturalist groups you can join today! 


We're also highlighting some of the important work they do to support biodiversity conservation and their efforts to connect people with nature.


 

With the increasing risk of extreme weather events such as flooding, severe drought, and forest fires, innovative technologies are being used to support planning and preparedness efforts locally. LiDAR is one of the innovative technologies being employed by government, conservation organizations, and academia to support climate change resilience and biodiversity conservation efforts.


"LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics."- National Ocean Services


Over the past 10 years, OCCP, through the support and efforts of our partner organizations, has achieved many local conservation successes. The work of the past has created a strong foundation of common goals and strategies, which continue to drive the direction of the OCCP.

With the new year upon us and new opportunities on the horizon, earlier this month we asked our partner organizations to participate in a strategic planning session to chart the future of the OCCP. We asked for our partners to provide their insights, thoughtful perspectives, and enthusiasm to evaluate our future priorities, programming, and projects. 

Help add to a century of community science data by signing up for a count near you. - Audubon

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds. The CBC is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of community science involvement. Audubon's 119th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted between Friday, December 14, 2018, through Saturday, January 5, 2019.

When you make a gift to a conservation organization, land trust, or wildlife rehabilitation center you leave a lasting legacy. You are supporting the vital conservation work of an organization and keeping nature in our future.

This holiday season consider making a donation in honour of an important person or group of people in your life. There are many ways to give and support important conservation work; every gift is meaningful, and every dollar helps.

With the holiday season upon us, we'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our Partners, funding supporters, community members, and readers for your continued support and for helping us keep nature in our future. 

From all of us at OCCP we wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season!

2018 has truly been an excellent year filled with many local conservation success stories. We'd like to take the opportunity to share two key successes with you.

Okanagan lakes, waterways, and landscapes are a point of pride for residents and a draw for visitors, most communities are built and come together around our waterways. We need to make sure that these cherished waters and natural systems - that we rely on for drinking water, supporting recreation, and fuelling our economy - are in optimal health. With this in mind, OCCP in partnership with local governments undertook a research study of Kalamalka and Wood Lake, to understand the impact power boating is having on our lakes to ensure we keep our freshwater environments healthy and clean.

Special contribution from the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance

If you had been down to q̓awsitkw (Okanagan River) over the month of October, you may have noticed many of the waters thick and red with sockeye salmon. These salmon are a result of the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Skaha Sockeye Reintroduction program, which is reintroducing sc’win (Okanagan sockeye) back to their historic range, which includes t’iwcən (Skaha) Lake and kłusənitkw (Okanagan) Lakes. Since 2004, ONA has stocked t’iwcən and kłusənitkw with hatchery reared fry and monitored their growth, survival, and impacts on Kokanee populations. From 2014 forward ONA has been rearing the fry in their kł cp̓əlk stim̓ Hatchery, and this highly successful return represents the first return of these fry.


Clean, plentiful fresh water and natural landscapes are a big reason why the Okanagan is such a great place to live. However, our lake and surrounding natural areas are facing significant challenges, a few being increased usage demands, a growing population, and development around the lake. These challenges strain the sensitive lake ecosystem and have a detrimental effect on the health of our lake.