In the first of two episodes on Deshkan Ziibi, or the Thames River (which runs through the city of London)
we look at the river’s health and the goal of being able to swim in, fish from and drink from the river safely.
With our guests, we consider the names of the river, it’s geography and health over time, and the current and future challenge of climate change. We talk about the sewage system and the problem of combined sewers and overflow. And we ask whose responsibility it is to keep the water clean, and who bears the brunt when it’s not.
Guests include: Emma Young and Brandon Graham from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation’s Treaty, Lands and Environment team, Pat Donnelly from the City of London, and Karen Maaskant from the Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority.
After listening to this episode, take the following actions:
- Volunteer for a river clean up with the Antler River Rally.
- Take a mindful walk on the Thames Valley Parkway to appreciate the river.
- Plant a rain garden to reduce flooding and pollution in stormwater drains.
Click here for this episode's transcript
Links Mentioned in the Episode
- Water Today - an independent organization that reports water quality data and boil water advisories that are issued by health units and municipalities in Canada.
- Thames River Clear Water Revival - The Thames River (Deshkan Ziibi) Shared Waters Approach to Water Quality and Quantity.
- London Free Press - “January's record rain exposes London's dirty sewage secret.” article about the January 11th 2020 flood that caused 68 million litres of sewage to spill into the Thames/Antler River.
- The City of London - “Government of Canada announces $19.8 million in funding for flood mitigation at London’s wastewater treatment plants”
- Our Living Waters - An explanation of combined sewer overflow and a link to open data for Wastewater Systems Effluent in Canada (including sewer overflow for the city of London)
- Canadian Consulting Engineer - “Twelve cities ranked for combined sewer overflows.” An article highlighting the Ecojustice ranking of 12 Ontario cities and their practices for dealing with wastewater and stormwater run-off.
- Jim MacDonald - Swim Drink Fish song.
- Government of Ontario - A fish consumption guide to help you identify the types and amounts of fish that are safe to eat from more than 2,400 fishing locations in Ontario.
- City of London - Fish and paddle guide for London, Ontario.
- World Wildlife Fund - Canada’s 2020 Watershed Reports: A National Reassessment of Canada’s Freshwater
- Canadian Freshwater Alliance - History of the Deshkan Ziibi/Antler River.
- Upper Thames River Conservation Authority - Thames/Antler River watershed map.
- Upper Thames River Conservation Authority - Watershed report cards that report on local environment conditions in each of the 28 watersheds within the Upper Thames watershed.
- Chippewa of the Thames First Nation - also know as territory of the Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg, the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation is a community that is located on the bank of the Thames/Antler River 20km southwest of London, ON.
- Government of Canada - London Township Treaty No. 6, The Mckee Treaty, No. 2, Longwoods Treaty No. 6 are treaties used to secure the land that is now part of the city of London
- London Environmental Network - Progress on the City of London's water quality projects.
- City of London - London's climate emergency declaration including some of the expected impacts of climate change in London, ON.
- Upper Thames River Conservation Authority - Information on the flood of 1937. The flood was the highest recorded on the Thames/Antler and the most destructive.
- Government of Canada - How agriculture affects water quality in Canada
- Lake Ontario Water Keeper - A swim guide to the beaches of Canada
- Mehek Mazhar - Don't Push the River. A four part podcast of the Thames/Antler River from 2018.
- World Wildlife Fund - An interactive map and report cards for watersheds in Canada.
The theme music is courtesy of ArchesAudio.com