A river runs through us

River Relay to celebrate and support Fraser River health

Amy Law first travelled down the Fraser River in 2011 with the Sustainable Living Leadership Program

It’s not laps in a pool, it’s not a leisure swim in 10 Mile Lake. Four hardy women plan to swim 1,400 km over 34 days – the full length of the Fraser River.

Quesnel’s Amy Law, Jacquie Lanthier of the Lower Mainland plus Sheena Miller and Ali Howard of Smithers are in full training for the September 2015 relay swim.

“The primary purpose of this swim is to celebrate the mighty Fraser River and to raise awareness of rivershed health and ecology,” Jacquie said.

“This one river is so vital to every aspect of not only this province but the whole planet.”

For Jacquie, she has been surfing all winter, climatizing to the frigid water along with indoor pool training.

“Plus I cross train with mountain biking, ski touring and running, a complete program.”

Amy, who is currently living in Whitehorse, swims three or four times a week in an indoor pool and has taken lessons to improve the efficiency of her stroke.

“I’m not a terribly great swimmer, but I’m hoping to improve,” she said.

“I also plan to train in cold water this summer, which will be easy to achieve as most lakes are still frozen here at the moment.”

Amy went on to say she believes in maintaining an overall healthy and active lifestyle, so hiking, biking, jogging and yoga are all a part of her routine. She also has a couple of summer goals to keep her on track, including doing a triathlon for the first time in August.

As to her motivation, Amy said the more time we spend in nature, the more we become interested in what’s going on.

In 2011, Amy was an eager participant in the Sustainable Living Leadership Program which brought students and facilitators down the Fraser River in voyageur canoe, walking the riverbank and rafting the canyon arriving in the Fraser River delta changed people. The following year she made the journey again as a co-facilitator and in 2013, again as a facilitator, Amy joined the expedition in Quesnel.

“I’m also on the programs committee of the Rivershed Society,” she proudly admitted.

It was on the 2012 trip where she met Jacquie, a participant and together they were inspired by Fin Donnelly, who spoke to the participants of his swim down the Fraser River in 1995 then again in 2000, to consider a river swim of their own.

Ali swam the Skeena River in 2009 to raise awareness about threats to Northern B.C. watersheds as well as protesting Shell Oil’s proposed coal bed methane developments in the Sacred Headwaters. During the course of preparing for this epic swim, she consulted with Fin Donnelly, and has been guiding the four women in their preparations.

Sheena, who is currently rowing up the coast of B.C. on a 100-day journey to Alaska where they are documenting their findings regarding current conditions of B.C.’s coastline, was an acquaintance of Ali and jumped onboard the Fraser River project immediately.

Although each woman is following a different day-to-day path, they are looking forward to unifying on their quest to swim the Fraser River. As the time approaches they plan to get together often to work out the planning logistics.

With the relay model, each swimmer will take a shift in the water, although there will be no night swimming. The entire team will camp riverside each night.

Fraser River Raft Expeditions is providing raft support to carry gear, support staff, emergency response equipment and those swimmers not in the water.

Amy summed up the learning which began with her trek down the Fraser.

“The Fraser River is one of the most important water systems for socket salmon, but the salmon are in systemic decline,” she said.

“I think we have all of the expertise and tools to holistically manage this water system, but there needs to be more support to really take care of our watersheds.”

She added she’s proud of Quesnel’s record with its beautiful river walk trail and the Blackwater Paddlers who promote river health.

She also recounts releasing salmon into the Dragon Creek tributary with schoolchildren when she worked with Baker Creek Enhancement Society.

“My sincere hope is that more and more people in the whole river shed appreciate the Fraser in these meaningful ways,” she said.

The group are looking for financial support in order to make this journey as far-reaching as possible. All donations can be made at rivershed.com.

To find out more information or to get involved with this project, email fraserrelay@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Letter: ‘pivotal moment in the history of fisheries management in B.C.’

Editor, Open letter to Minister Wilkinson: On Friday, Dec. 6 the airwaves… Continue reading

Will snow finally arrive for good in Quesnel?

Environment Canada forecasting snowfall tonight

Barkerville’s Christmas event sees record number of visitors

More than 1,200 people attended the site on Saturday

One of the Cariboo’s greatest unsolved mysteries featured in The National

Journalists investigate bombing of Flight 21 more than 50 years ago

Quesnel figure skater places second in Terrace

Beverley Smetaniuk scored a personal best

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Trump to meet with Democrats about border wall, shutdown

US president wants $5 billion for border wall, while Democrats offer up about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Most Read