The BC Lake Stewardship Society’s Marge Sidney, a professional biologist and BCLSS Board member presented OLWQS’ John Gates with the BCLSS’ 2021 Outstanding Volunteer Award. (Photo Credit: Neil Bousquet)

Osoyoos, BC, (March 16, 2022) – The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) was founded in 1991 by volunteer community members to help promote public awareness of the lake, covering issues such as conservation, pollution and lake management.

“Volunteers are the glue that binds our organization to continue its important work as a steward of Osoyoos Lake to help ensure that our children’ children continue to enjoy the beauty of our lake as much as we do today,” says OLWQS President, Birgit Arnstein.

“Today, the dedication and attention to detail of our volunteer data manager John Gates was recognized by the BC Lake Stewardship Society who awarded him their prestigious 2021 Outstanding Volunteer Award.”

Adds Arnstein, “We couldn’t be prouder or more appreciative of the work John Gates has done.  Like John, all of our volunteers continue to make a difference every day to both Protect and Love our beautiful Osoyoos Lake.

In awarding the 2021 Outstanding Volunteer Award, the BC Lake Stewardship Society had this to say about John Gates:

John Gates is the data manager for the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS). This is a role he has filled for a number of years. After each scheduled sampling of Osoyoos Lake, John collects the computer holding the sampling data, extracts current data sets, checks for anomalies, and then transcribes the instrument data. John then produces a report for each sampling site for OLWQS and shares them with the Ministry of Environment. These reports can be found on the OLWQS website.

During the spring through the fall, OLWQS members sample the lake twice monthly. John volunteers 3-5 hours of his time every second week through the monitoring season to keep the data management activities associated with lake sampling running smoothly. This is a significant volunteer effort as the data management function is separate from the field work performed by volunteers.

John developed and maintains a comprehensive binder of technical documentation for sampling procedures used by OLWQS sampling crews. This material includes sampling procedures for both water chemistry and zooplankton. John provides training each year for OLWQS members on the correct use of the water sampling equipment and data collection. As well, John maintains the society’s sensitive, expensive testing equipment. He is a key member of the OLWQS and his work is invaluable.

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society was founded in 1991 by community members to help promote public awareness of the lake, covering issues such as conservation, pollution, and lake management. It is a non-political, non-profit, charitable organization run entirely by volunteers. Society members collect water sample data annually, from April through October.

The extensive data set collected by the OLWQS since 1991 has significant value and has been used in reports by the BC Lake Stewardship Society and the BC Ministry of Environment. John Gates has been the steward of this data set and plays a critical role in maintaining the quality of data collected by the OLWQS.

Congratulations John and thank you for being an outstanding volunteer!

About Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society.

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) was founded in 1991 by community members to help promote public awareness of the lake, covering issues such as conservation, pollution and lake management. Volunteers collect data on the health of the lake, monitoring pH, temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen and water clarity in four regions of the lake at various depths.  It is a non-political, non-profit, charitable organization run entirely by volunteers.

www.osoyooslake.ca 

For more information or interviews contact:
Ms. Birgit Arnstein, President, OLWQS (250) 408-5460 olwqs4info@gmail.com