Ottawa Riverkeeper welcomes new Riverkeeper and CEO
Laura Reinsborough, expert in non-profit organizational (NGO) development and a passionate environmentalist, is the newly appointed Ottawa Riverkeeper CEO. Ottawa Riverkeeper is a charity with a mission to inspire cooperative action focused on a healthy watershed for all generations and species.
“We are living in a particular moment in human history where environmental issues need to be heard loud and clear,” said Laura Reinsborough. “We are collectively waking up to listen to these issues, to hear what the river and the watershed can tell us. I am thrilled to become Riverkeeper at this crucial time. Not only is the need so great, but the organization has also set ambitious goals to create an even more profound impact, and that is a powerful combination.”
The organization was founded in 2001 and is under the Waterkeeper Alliance model, which is a global network of groups that work for the right to clean water for everyone. Each group in the Alliance is headed by a Riverkeeper, who advocates for the protection and health of their watershed.
Reinsborough is experienced in leading NGOs and charities through crucial moments of growth and development. She is the founder of Not Far From The Tree, an organization in Toronto that focuses on fruit picking and sharing to prevent waste. More recently she was Director of Food For All New Brunswick, which focuses on eliminating food insecurity. Reinsborough has received the Vital People Award from the Toronto Foundation and the Gaia Award from the WIFTS Foundation for her work on environmental issues.
Reinsborough told the Aylmer Bulletin that she hopes to continue the amazing work that the organization has done over the past 20 years. She said that there is a real opportunity to strengthen and grow the work of Ottawa Riverkeeper. Reinsborough is replacing Elizabeth Logue, who ran the organization from 2019-2021.
She is dedicated to centering the Algonquin Anishinaabe peoples. “Ensuring that we are centering Indigenous voices in the work that we do is a key piece of our current strategic vision,” she stated. “We have great relationships with many Algonquin peoples in the region and we recognize that the entire watershed is on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe territory. We also recognize that our work is not a new concept; the Indigneous populations were doing this work long before us.”
Ottawa Riverkeeper’s mission is to inspire cooperative action focused on a healthy watershed for all generations and species. Reinsborough is eager to work on new initiatives, such as establishing “River House”, a future home for Ottawa Riverkeeper and a new location for river access, engagement, and education about the Ottawa River watershed. (Local Journalism Initiative)