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For the fourth consecutive year, Ottawa Riverkeeper celebrated Canadian Rivers Day with a guided paddle on the Ottawa River from Victoria Island to Petrie Island. On June 8, 2008 this urban paddle brought over 250 people and the river together.
Eight voyageur canoes were available to bring novice paddlers and their family on the river. The Friends of the Kipawa River also joined us as they were raising awareness about the proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Experienced paddlers also joined the celebration using their own self-propelled boats. Seven-year old Isaac Finkelstein was the youngest self-propelled paddler. Eighty-year old Trix Geary was able to join us for the forth consecutive year and vowed to take a seat in the voyageur canoes next year.
This one-day event helped participants understand the importance and beauty of the river and the pressures the river is facing as it flows through our urban core. The participants received an interpretative booklet [pdf file: 0.8mb] which highlights the historical and ecological significance of the river, as well as draw attention to the ways which we are altering the river. In the morning, the coast guards were on hand to educate the participants on water safety. At lunch break, several speakers made presentation on the ecological health of the river, the heritage designation of the Ottawa River, the importance of recreation uses of our waterways, and the archaeological significance of the islands. Finally, on Petrie Island participants visited the Petrie Island interpretive centre where they learned from live turtle and snake displays and learned from our geological expert about the formation of our watershed.
Thank you for supporting a clean and healthy Ottawa River & making this celebration a safe journey: