The Saint Mary’s-based Atlantic Water Network is being recognized with national awards from Water’s Next.
The exemplary efforts of water champion and Atlantic Water Network Director, Emma Wattie were celebrated when she received both the individual award for leadership in non-government organizations, as well as Water Steward of the Year, earlier this summer.
Growing up on the beautiful Saint John River in rural New Brunswick, the importance of water stewardship and management came naturally to Emma. Through her work with the Atlantic Water Network, Emma has built critical infrastructure and relationships that have enabled community-based monitoring initiatives to achieve greater impact both locally and regionally. She has brought a streamlined and standardized approach to water monitoring groups, which in turn has increased demand for the water monitoring tools and equipment and expanding our knowledge of Atlantic watersheds.
Through her management of the Environmental Equipment Bank program and WET-Pro training, communities can leverage resources to scale up existing monitoring programs and build new ones where needed without having to reinvent the wheel. WET-Pro has been critical in freeing up organizational capacity to address continuously emerging needs for regional freshwater monitoring.
“It’s truly an honour to receive the Water’s Next awards for my work with Atlantic Water Network. The jury is a group of peers in the water monitoring world, so to receive this recognition from a national platform brings validation to many years of hard work. Atlantic Water Network provides important resources to its community-partners and all the work we do is for them.”
Emma has also championed the importance of sharing water data across watersheds and jurisdictions. From conception to implementation, she played a crucial role in bringing DataStream – an open-access online platform – to Atlantic Canada. Her success in building a strong partnership with The Gordon Foundation and the ability to mobilize community-based monitoring groups across four provinces made it possible to establish Atlantic DataStream in under one year.
The Water’s Next Awards Gala celebrates the people, projects, and technology that are making substantial contributions to the success of Canada’s blue economy. The gala saw leaders from across Canada and around the world come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the 49 finalists for the event’s 13 different awards, highlighted by the Company of the Year and the Water Steward of the Year awards.
—-Submitted by Cale Loney, External Affairs