Jay Simpson has succeeded Paul Demenok as the chair of the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC).
Simpson, director for Electoral Area F (North Shuswap) in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, was acclaimed as chair on March 9. Demenok, the director for Electoral Area C (South Shuswap) chaired the SWC since its inception in 2014. He chose to step down but will remain an SWC member and serve as vice chair.
Simpson said he looks forward to working with local First Nations, local and provincial governments in the year ahead, and he will continue the SWC’s work focusing on strategic initiatives to monitor, protect and report on water quality in the region.
“I believe it’s very important to continue building momentum on our water quality monitoring and protection initiatives,” said Simpson, adding he remains concerned about the possibility of a zebra or quagga mussel invasion in the Shuswap, such as what has occurred at lakes in Manitoba and Ontario.
Demenok reflected on the past eight years as chair, citing some of the council’s achievements in that time.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to complete a research project with a team from UBC-Okanagan,” Demenok said, referring to a study on water quality in the Shuswap River and Salmon River. “That was an important piece of science we needed to inform next steps in protecting our water quality, and it subsequently led to the development of our Water Quality Grant Program.”
The SWC currently has 16 members who represent various organizations with a role and responsibility for water quality in the Shuswap. The membership list can be found on its website, www.shuswapwater.ca.
The Shuswap Watershed Council is a watershed-based partnership organization that works on water quality and safe recreation in the Shuswap.
For more information, contact Erin Vieira at the Fraser Basin Council in Kamloops at 250-314-9660, or visit: www.shuswapwater.ca.
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