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Who we are

The Living by Water Project was initiated in 1997 by two shoreline residents from British Columbia. The mission of the Project is "working towards healthier human and wildlife habitat along the shorelines of Canada".

If you’re a shoreline resident, we are committed to helping you obtain information to protect your property, prevent problems like erosion, and protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat. We do this by working with, and providing support services to, groups that help shoreline residents like you.

If you’re involved with a group, we can help you with materials, services and support to deliver outreach and awareness-raising programs about shorelines in your community. We focus on both general audiences (including children) and shoreline residents.

The Living by Water Project has now grown into a national partnership initiative, with regional coordinators in several centres across the country. We support local community groups with programs, services and materials aimed at protecting, conserving, and restoring shorelines. Among our partners are cottager groups and conservation organizations, naturalist clubs and watershed groups, First Nations, youth groups such as Guides and Scouts, and special interest groups. The project is managed by lead partners in various regions of the country.

What we do


The Living by Water Project focusses on shorelines along all types of waterbodies – rivers, streams, creeks, canals, lakes, ponds, wetlands, reservoirs, estuaries, and marine shorelands. We provide programs, services and materials to promote the value of keeping these shorelines healthy, and emphasize what we all can do to help care for them .

We help groups develop tools and the capacity to carry out shoreline awareness and outreach programs. We also occasionally sponsor or initiate special activities to help bring people together or provide communities with customized tools to help care for shorelines.

Through our online community, we keep you up-to-date on news and events that groups across the country are carrying out related to shoreline protection, conservation or restoration.

Our Shoreline Action Challenge provides simple lists of actions that both shoreline visitors and shoreline residents can carry out to help protect and restore shorelines.

Further information about The Living by Water Project, its goals and objectives, and the background research which led to its development is available in several Publications.

The Living by Water Project supports groups and agencies by providing services and materials related to shoreline stewardship and conservation marketing. We focus on the problem of shoreline degradation in our settled areas, and have embarked on a national Shoreline Action Challenge campaign to designate 200,000 Shoreline Ambassadors by 2005, and protect, conserve or restore 3,000 km of shoreline in Canada during this time. We provide support services such as Homesite Assessment training, Capacity-Building in areas such as conservation marketing and working with the media, and networking. Through this website you can access Living by Water Project materials, as well as help us develop a listing of resources from groups and agencies involved in shoreline stewardship. You can find out more about joining our online community on our Home page.

Lead Partners

British Columbia and southern Yukon The Federation of BC Naturalists
Alberta and southern NWT The Federation of Alberta Naturalists
Saskatchewan and Manitoba Nature Saskatchewan (
Ontario Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation
Quebec Watch this space for our Quebec partners!
Atlantic Canada Clean Annapolis River Project (interim)

To find a list of groups in your region we are working with, click Contact Us on the main menu.

Our Vision


A Vision for Today ...and for the Future

In recognition of the roles and values of Canada’s shorelines, the following expresses our vision as waterfront residents:

  We all enjoy healthy habitat with better air and water quality - and wildlife enjoys it too!
Waterfront environments remain special places for recreation and for restoring our spirits. Shorelines, lakes, rivers, and seashores continue to attract us.
We protect wildlife through careful waterfront construction and shoreline restoration.
We express a sense of caring for waterfronts by keeping our eyes on the water and along the shoreline.
We share information on caring for the ribbon of life with our shoreline and upland neighbours.
Values of our waterfront properties are maintained as each of us learns more about environmental impacts and alternatives.

Guiding Principles


While developing and implementing The Living by Water Project, we will...
Ensure services and products are appropriate for as many members as possible of our target audience, regardless of tenure status, income level, gender, or linguistic proficiency.
Honour waterfront residents, listen to their stories and wisdom, take the perspective that they want to “do it right” (shoreline stewardship), and work to obtain and integrate their input wherever possible.
Understand our audience and service their needs in the spirit of our mission and goals.
Be positive and impartial, rather than partisan and finger-pointing.
Be customer-driven rather than project or product-driven.
Where possible, be in service to all groups, in the spirit of cooperation.
Avoid reinventing the wheel by applying what we learn from other sources.
Involve a broad spectrum of partners and sponsors in order to be cost-effective and efficient.
Recognize the contributions of sponsors and volunteers, and of those who participate in the shoreline action challenge.
Become self-sustaining as soon as possible.
Maintain high ethical standards and use a soft sell approach.
Ensure that services and products meet high standards of quality and value.
Remain on the leading edge of shoreline stewardship practices.
Take a whole ecosystem approach, addressing the stewardship of both micro and macro organisms.
Remain flexible in order to respond to appropriate opportunities.
Share information about the project, inside and outside Canada.



The Living by Water Project acknowledges with thanks the support of numerous groups, agencies, organizations and individuals. Click here for a listing of our national and regional sponsors, and numerous others, across Canada who have kindly provided support, time and advice in the development of this project.

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