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Ottawa Riverkeeper

riverkeeper logo

Right here at home, we take action through science, education, and advocacy, to ensure the Ottawa River and its tributaries are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable.

Our mission is to inspire cooperative action for a healthy Ottawa River watershed for all generations and all species. We bring together volunteers, businesses, communities, and all levels of government to find solutions to the problems that endanger the River and its tributaries’ health.

We believe that people protect what they know and love, so we work to connect individuals to their local water bodies, create water experiences, and disseminate science-based information to residents and decision-makers of the Ottawa River watershed.


  • Government funding: 22%
  • Other charities: 23%
  • Individual donations: 14%
  • Corporate donations: 12%

Funding priorities

River House

Following an extensive renovation by the National Capital Commission, River House will be a new, publicly-accessible destination on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabeg territory in the heart of Canada’s National Capital Region. Ottawa Riverkeeper will transform it into a destination where community members can engage, discover, and connect with the Ottawa River. River House will provide a dynamic new homebase for Ottawa Riverkeeper and help to build our role as a trusted watershed advocate, educator and convener, and help ensure a legacy to swim, drink and fish Canadian waters for generations to come.

River School

River School is a new suite of educational programs being developed by Ottawa Riverkeeper. Expanding on our existing bilingual, interactive, and science-based environmental educational programming, River School will engage children, youth and educators across the Ottawa River watershed (in Ontario and Quebec). Located at River House at the water’s edge, River School will feature a science lab, and will incorporate Algonquin Anishinabeg Knowledge into its teachings. River School will educate, motivate and build the next generation of water leaders.

How you can help


Through Ottawa Riverkeeper, you protect the health of the waterways in your own backyard, now and for generations to come.

Science: Your donation supports research on key watershed health indicators. We actively monitor water quality at beaches, in streams, and in our lab.

Education: Your support builds the next generation of water leaders through hands-on environmental education programs, like our learning library modules that are both online and in classrooms and our Youth Water Leaders program.

Advocacy: We’re a trusted source of information for the public and for decision-makers. When you donate to Ottawa Riverkeeper, you are safeguarding an independent, non-partisan voice that stays on top of pressing environmental issues and holds decision-makers to account.


From research to water quality sampling and everything in between, the contributions of volunteers support and empower our vision of a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Ottawa River watershed.


Riverkeeper Gala

Those in the know, know the Ottawa Riverkeeper Gala. It’s one of the most talked about, most fun, and high-profile events on the Ottawa social calendar!

The Gala features musical performances, fine cuisine, premium beverages, and a floor-shaking dance party. Visit for all the details.

The Riverkeeper Open Water Swim

Powered by Canaqua Sports, this is a unique swimming event in the Ottawa River that attracts hundreds of swimmers each August and raises funds for programs like the Pollution Hotline, shoreline cleanups, and the Swim Guide.


301-275 Bay St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1R 5Z5z

  • Year founded: 2001
  • Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,481,696
  • Twitter: @ottriverkeeper
  • Facebook: @ottawa.riverkeeper
  • Instagram: @ottawariverkeeper.garderiviere
Laura Reinsborough, Riverkeeper & CEO
Geoff Green, Board Chair











Frédéric Boulanger

Margot Sunter

Colleen Westeinde

David Coletto

Christine Colverson

Franklin Holtforster

Colleen Mooney

Philip Rimer

David Runnalls

Naomi Sarazin

Robert Slater

Alexandre Van Dieren


The Ottawa River watershed (Ontario/Quebec)