the riverwatch institute of alberta


Riverwatch is Alberta’s leader in unparalleled river-based water education and positive impact urban river experiences that passionately engage the community to understand, monitor and protect our watersheds.


Founded in 1995, the RiverWatch Institute is Alberta’s premier non-profit organization dedicated to advancing environmental education and water quality monitoring in the province. As Alberta’s largest group specializing in river rafting for educational purposes, we offer unparalleled citizen science experiences aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of environmental issues within our water systems. Our offerings include comprehensive science education and environmental awareness programs along Alberta’s rivers and watershed systems, catering to schools (school science floats) and the general public (public EcoFloats). Utilizing an impressive fleet of nearly 30 commercial rafts and various support vehicles, we facilitate engaging river-based programming and community-driven water monitoring initiatives. These programs support over 30 volunteer and citizen science watershed groups, emphasizing hands-on learning and active participation.

Participants, guided by our professional river guides, gain insightful knowledge of the science and health of waterways through float trips, stewardship activities, and the use of specialized water monitoring equipment. Our goal is to empower Albertans from diverse backgrounds to become knowledgeable about their watershed, fostering a collective sense of appreciation, enjoyment, and responsibility towards our environment.

Our dedicated team, comprising of full-time executive and science staff, seasonal river guides/water monitoring technicians, and an 8-member Board of Directors, is committed to delivering memorable and impactful watershed experiences across Alberta. Through our efforts, we aim to cultivate a well-informed community that is passionate about protecting our natural water systems for future generations.


At Riverwatch, our core values are anchored in our unwavering commitment to SAFETY,  RESILIENCE, PURPOSE, and AMBITION as we stand as Alberta’s premier leader in water education and tourism experiences. We ignite FUN and CREATIVITY in every endeavour, ensuring that learning about our watershed is not just informative but also enjoyable and inspiring. Our dedication to LEARNING means that our teams are both experts in their field and continuous learners and innovators. Through LEADERSHIP, we care for each other and passionately engage the community, empowering every individual with the knowledge and tools to understand, cherish, and protect our watershed.


  1. SCHOOL SCIENCE FLOATS – The Institute’s award-winning education programs are a go-to resource for Alberta secondary science classes, focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Through rafting trips and data collection with portable water quality labs, thousands of students learn about the ecology and importance of Alberta’s waterways each year.
  2. RIVERWATCH ECOFLOATSThrough our newest program, members of the public can join the Official River Guides of Edmonton and Calgary for a safe, fun, personalized, 3-4hr. guided raft experience down the North Saskatchewan or Bow River right through the city’s heart. Your RiverWatch raft guide will help participants gain new insights and appreciation for our rivers’ history, culture, bio-diversity and stewardship. Everyone will finish the day more connected to nature and your river.
  3. CREEKWATCH WATER MONITORING – Additionally, our CreekWatch Citizen Science program, launched in 2014, connects citizens to water monitoring and stewardship experiences relevant to their local natural areas and stormwater creeks. Through our volunteer training and portable water quality labs, we help local communities answer the question, “How healthy are our creeks?”