Mackenzie River Basin State of the Aquatic Ecosystem

The Mackenzie River Basin Board (MRBB) has published an updated State of the Aquatic Ecosystem Report (SOAER) for the Mackenzie River Basin in 2021.

A key commitment in the Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement is to report on the state of the aquatic ecosystem of the Mackenzie River Basin. Past reports can be found on the MRBB website. The online report braids science and Indigenous knowledge of water quality, water quantity, habitat and species and health and well-being in six sub regions of the Mackenzie River Basin, including: the Mackenzie Great Bear, Peel, Liard, Great Slave, Peace, and Athabasca sub-basins. For summary information about the broader Mackenzie River Basin, see the About page, which includes a description of the methodology, gaps and recommendations, and next steps. 

The report: 

  • Informs basin residents, decision makers and Ministers about the ecological integrity of the Mackenzie River watershed using multiple knowledge systems
  • Identifies gaps and inconsistencies in knowledge and monitoring practices and makes recommendations that build on previous efforts by the MRBB and committees
  • Guides future MRBB decisions by communicating current conditions (both in terms of health and threats) as well as changes within the basin
  • Profiles the value of Indigenous Knowledge as a credible and integral component in aquatic ecosystem assessment
  • Recognizes that humans are a part of and connected to the aquatic ecosystem and that the basin represents a place of meaning for the residents who inhabit it, and
  • Provides a template as a living document that will grow and evolve over time. 

The 2021 SOAER is presented as a braided story published exclusively on the web. The vision is to update it over time with additional signs and signals, Indigenous knowledge from communities, in-depth analysis, and scientific information, as those materials become available.