© Adam Harnum
ACAP Humber Arm chair Cecil Lake, left, addresses the audience Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland after accepting a national award for excellence in water stewardship.
CORNER BROOK — There were lots of smiling faces as Atlantic Coastal Action Plan (ACAP) Humber Arm received a national award for its outstanding achievement, innovative practice and leadership in water stewardship.
Cecil Lake, chairperson for ACAP Humber Arm, was presented the 2013 Council of the Federation’s Excellence in Water Stewardship award by Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Environment and Conservation Minister Tom Hedderson at Grenfell Campus Thursday morning.
Following the presentation, Lake said the recognition at the national level is an honour and represents the hard work and dedication the organization has put into water stewardship over the years.
“One of the reasons why our organization started was to become involved in water stewardship, and you have to understand that there is a limit of resources in the world in terms of water,” he said.
As water conservation projects continue to headline many city agendas throughout the province, ACAP Humber Arm was a key advocate in raising awareness that water could run out with an increasing world population.
“We have to make everybody aware that we have to have a place in this to understand where the water comes from, how we use the water and what we can do to replenish it,” Lake said.
The award stands as a sign the provincial government is beginning to recognize that smaller groups like ACAP can do more work for the province, he said.
“We’re not an environmental group who works against the government, we’re a group that works for people and the government,” Lake added. “If they’re willing to put money in there, we can do work for them as a very cost effective means.”
ACAP Humber Arm will continue to abide by its mandate, which is to ensure that water quality in the Bay of Island’s region, as well as the Humber Valley, is maintained to a certain standard. Lake said that standard is focused on climate change and coastal erosion, so the organization has to learn more about the coastal area, or what is called the littoral zone.
“Once we understand that (littoral zone) better, understand the potential for invasive species and the future of the people living in the coastal region, then we will achieve what we set out in our mandate,” he said.
Until then, the entire health of the region seems to be atop the priority list for ACAP Humber Arm.
“We will always look at how this place functions, and until the mandate changes we will stay in this area and keep (working) for the better of the region,” said Lake.