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Port Coquitlam couple will paddle the mighty Fraser

Port Coquitlam residents Alex Ensworth, an SFU student, and Katie Furness-Moore, a Douglas College student, will be documenting their three-week trip down the Fraser River with the Rivershed Society of BC with a photo journal. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Port Coquitlam residents Alex Ensworth, an SFU student, and Katie Furness-Moore, a Douglas College student, will be documenting their three-week trip down the Fraser River with the Rivershed Society of BC with a photo journal.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Port Coquitlam residents Alex Ensworth and Katie Furness-Moore will spend the next three weeks paddling, rafting, hiking and camping under the stars as they travel the length of the mighty Fraser River, learning about sustainable living along the way.

"It's the trip of a lifetime," said Ensworth, a third-year applied physics student at SFU. "Everyone we've talked to agreed, including past participants. They all say that it's amazing and you can't pass it up."

It was his girlfriend, Furness-Moore, a nursing student at Douglas College, who encouraged him to apply for the Sustainable Living Leadership Program sponsored by the Rivershed Society of BC. She heard about the program from New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly.

Both Ensworth and Furness-Moore grew up camping and both are avid paddlers, so the prospect of canoeing and rafting down the Fraser and living outdoors for three weeks is one they're eagerly looking forward to. They can expect to see abundant wildlife — plenty of salmon, eagles, moose and bears, the latter preferably from some distance, Ensworth joked.

"We both thought it was really cool and had to do it," Ensworth said. "It's the whole thing, from start to finish, going down the headwaters in Mount Robson and then finishing at the Jericho Sailing Club in Vancouver — we're both just excited for the whole thing."

The group leaves Thursday and wraps up the trip on Sunday, Aug. 24 (they'll be paddling through the Coquitlam stretch of the Fraser on Aug. 20). Along the way Ensworth and Furness-Moore will document the trip with a photo journal (participants must complete a sustainability project as part of the trip).

"We want to see how the river changes, not just the look of it but mainly how the local people use it," Ensworth said. "As we go down, we'll be interviewing people and seeing how they interact with it and how they depend on it, and what changes they've noticed."

They plan to compile the photos, showing the river's changing face as it moves from isolated wilderness in B.C.'s northeast to heavily traveled industrial uses through the Lower Mainland, and have it published.

• Visit www.rivershed.com for more information.

spayne@tricitynews.com

 

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