Watersheds Canada



Watersheds Canada is a grassroots organization founded by people who care about lakes and rivers. Our supporters have a proud connection to water through a lifelong passion for swimming, boating, fishing, enjoying nature and spending time with family and friends at the cottage.

Our goal is to protect Canada’s freshwater for future generations.

Since 2002, Watersheds Canada has been investing in on-the-ground programs and partnerships that have re-naturalized shoreline communities and created new habitats for species like loons, brook trout, turtles and monarch butterflies.  Our work is science-based and driven by community volunteers who help Watersheds Canada teach cottagers, landowners, and municipalities how to protect their lakes from erosion, biodiversity loss, invasive species, blue-green algae blooms and poor water quality. 

Canada’s lakes and rivers now face immense development pressure, and combined with the known impacts of climate change, the need to save our shorelands is critical. Every year, Watersheds Canada plants thousands of native species. Our shovels-in-the-ground programs bring back nature and create resilience for our freshwater future. 

Of 50,000 shorelines assessed through our programs, only 22-percent met habitat needs.

Waterfront communities depend on Watersheds Canada’s guidance on shoreline protection which has been critical in delivering nature-based solutions to fight climate change. Our impact is the new hope for the over 400 lakes we have already supported. With over 2 million lakes in Canada, we need help to expand our programs. These lakes and shorelines are in urgent need of Watersheds Canada’s assessment, rehabilitation, advocacy and education programs.  

Every shoreline matters. Every action counts.

Our Impact

Boots & shovels on-the-ground: Our Natural Edge program works collaboratively with landowners to restore shoreline habitat through education and native species planting. We have restored the “ribbon of life” where 90% of aquatic life lives by planting 104,000 native species along 217,000 m2+ of shoreline across Canada. 

Lake assessments completed! The Love Your Lake program has provided onsite water quality assessments on 200+ lakes and for 50,000+ properties across Canada, and has provided guidance to lake associations and landowners on how to improve shoreline health to benefit people and wildlife. 

We saved fish spawning areas. Our Fish Habitat program works to counter the impacts of development and subsequent fish habitat loss. Where Watersheds Canada has saved historic spawning areas, our focus lake saw an 80% jump in walleye catch numbers. We have completed 22 projects including walleye and trout spawning bed restorations, coldwater creek habitat enhancements, and adding woody debris with brush bundle projects.

We communicate with the freshwater community! Our Freshwater Stewardship Community provides monthly webinars, free educational resources, and networking opportunities for the public. Topics have included shoreline planning, invasive species, and wildlife habitat restoration.  We provide training and share resources with municipal staff and local volunteers.

See what your legacy could be

Talk to Watersheds Canada about a legacy gift

Legal Name

Watersheds Canada

Charity Number


How your gift will be used

No matter the amount, your legacy contribution will fund shoreland restoration and habitat creation that improves water quality necessary for wildlife, including many Species At Risk. Your legacy will be associated with our action-based projects that will:

Save our shorelands: The Natural Edge program will be delivered in more waterfront communities that are impacted by pollution, erosion, and development pressures. More funding brings more native trees and plants to more lakes and rivers. Your donation will pay for materials, equipment, and support for staff and volunteers who are on-the-ground during site visits and planting seasons.

Protect fish and wildlife: Donations pay for fish spawning bed construction and bird nesting boxes. We hire local contractors who bring in stone to save historic brook trout and walleye fisheries. We need dollars to travel to more lakes and rivers with our expertise, education resources, and site assessments and monitoring.

Teach others to care: Donations support Watersheds Canada’s outreach and education programs. Our leading communications and education professionals have helped thousands of children discover nature through our Nature Discovery Backpacks and dozens of peer-reviewed resources that promote freshwater stewardship. Your legacy gift will help us teach future generations to care about lakes and rivers.

Calculate your potential gift

Your potential gift


Charity gift

% of your estate


Gift to loved ones

% of your estate

Get help planning a gift in your Will