DONATE TODAY to support independent sampling after the Mount Polley mine spill

This entry was posted in Watershed Watch Activities and tagged , , , .. Posted by Trish Hall on

Independent scientists on the front lines of the Mt. Polley mining spill need your help, and every dollar you donate will go directly to monitoring the effects of the massive spill on water, sediments, and fish. 


We’re coordinating with experts, local First Nations, and government to understand what scientific monitoring is being done on waterways impacted by the catastrophic failure of the tailings reservoir at the Mt. Polley Mine. 

Four things are clear: 

  1. Sediment test results released over the weekend exceed safe limits for aquatic life.
  2. Government water and sediment reports so far have been inadequate for understanding the true scope of impacts to fish and human health.
  3. Independent scientists have been doing an excellent job collecting water and sediment samples from the moment the news of the spill first broke.
  4. Those independent researchers will need financial support to carry on with their important work over the coming months in order to truly understand the impacts to water quality and aquatic life. Donate today!


While the surface water of Quesnel Lake is mostly safe to drink, and salmon in the Quesnel River are currently safe to eat, the longer-term impacts to our water and fish are unknown. Tons of metal-laced sediments are still settling out into Polley Lake, Quesnel Lake and along the Quesnel River and will continue to be flushed down by rain and snowmelt over the coming months and years from the muddy barren that used to be Hazeltine Creek. Millions of sockeye that emerged from gravel last spring to spend their first year of life in Quesnel Lake could be at risk, as well as the salmon eggs that will be spawned in the gravel beds of the Quesnel River, where some of the metal wastes are settling out. 

Your tax-deductible donation will go to qualified, independent researchers. At the top of our list are local First Nations and the University of Northern BC’s Quesnel River Research Centre (QRRC) whose biologists have been collecting water and sediment samples every day since the spill.  They need to hire a full-time technician to keep collecting and processing samples over the coming months. It costs $90 per sample to test sediments for toxic metals, and hundreds of samples will need to be analyzed.

Watershed Watch’s scientists are also consulting with world-class experts Dr. Brian Riddell from the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Dr. Jack Stanford from the University of Montana, and others, to ensure we are strategic and effective in allocating funds for essential monitoring.

We will update you and the general public as test results become available, and will let you know what we are doing—and what you can do—to hold government and the mining company to account.

How to Donate:

  1. Donate online:
    • Visit Watershed Watch’s Canada Helps page
    • Click “Donate Now
    • Complete the form and choose the Fund/Designation “2. Mount Polley Mine Spill – Independent Sampling
    • Canada Helps is an online fundraising solution that allows us to accept donations over the internet, making online fundraising affordable, easy and secure
  2. Donate via cheque:
    • Cheques should be made out to Watershed Watch Salmon Society
    • Mail cheques to 1037 Madore Avenue, Coquitlam, BC, V3K 3B7
    • Please include mention that the donation is for the Mount Polley mine spill sampling


There has been extensive media coverage of this spill, the potential causes and what it means for the environment. Watershed Watch Executive Director, Craig Orr, comments on what this means for salmon and the state of industry regulation in BC in the following articles:



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