the riverwatch institute of alberta

OUR CORE PURPOSERiverWatch is Alberta’s leader in unparalleled river-based water education and positive-impact urban river experiences that passionately engage the community in understanding, monitoring, and protecting our watersheds.

WHAT WE DOFounded in 1995, the RiverWatch Institute of Alberta specializes in river rafting for water education purposes and citizen science water monitoring to foster a deeper understanding of environmental impact within our water systems. Our dedicated team, comprising of a full-time executive director 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 passionate about protecting our natural water systems for future generations.

OUR VALUESAt 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 endeavor, 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 ECOFLOATS – Our newest program is now an award-winning eco-tourism program! Members of the public can join the Official River Guides of Edmonton and Calgary for a safe, fun, personalized, 3-to-4-hour 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, biodiversity, and stewardship. Everyone will finish the day more connected to nature and their river.
  3. CREEKWATCH WATER MONITORING – 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?” New for 2024, CreekWatch has expanded to include private water monitoring. This service provides a valuable opportunity for regional municipalities, which may not otherwise have the staffing capacity, to collaborate with CreekWatch under a social enterprise agreement to monitor the health of their local stormwater systems. Within this structure, CreekWatch monitors all urban creek systems within the city of Edmonton in partnership with EPCOR under their WaterSHED program.