You can help us raise funds for a mobile lab

We need your support to realize the dream of an innovative mobile lab, Tracker.

White outlined blueprint of the Tracker designs, inside.

So far we’ve raised $160,152 of $305,000

52 %

Our Healthy Waters Program investigates pollution from headwaters to deep waters in support of salmon, whales, and people. We are now raising funds to build a fully functional mobile laboratory, which will be available for regular onsite water quality assessments. Tracker will allow us to engage directly and transparently with stewards and staff in various watersheds in  BC and allow for immediate evaluations.

Overhead photo of four killer whales swimming together.
Photo by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, taken under SARA Research License XMMS-2-2022.

For salmon, whales, and people

For the last decade, we have achieved meaningful threat reduction measures that support the recovery of at-risk Pacific wild salmon and endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

The Healthy Waters team is currently working with a dozen watershed partners, addressing their pollution concerns and establishing baseline data. Tracker will allow us to test for more contaminants of concern and contribute to solution-oriented measures, including policy change, regulations, best practices, and habitat restoration.

Water creates and sustains healthy habitats for salmon and for killer whales, and provides drinking water for people. Tracker will be a valuable asset to dozens of watersheds in BC delivering expert insight into detected pollutants, and supporting community water pollution solutions.

Tracker will fill a void

There currently exists no standardized, high quality water monitoring across jurisdictions in BC, limiting our understanding of emerging pollution concerns. We, the greater public, are therefore unaware of invisible contaminant threats to fish habitat, and surprised and perplexed by the occasional fish die-off, low returns, and the implications for fish-eating Resident killer whales.

Plans showing a mockup of the inside of our mobile lab.
Plans for Tracker by Henrik Nyberg by Elomatic.
Two people working together to collect water samples in a farm field with the mountains in the background.
Photo by Alex Harris.

Measuring hundreds of contaminants

Tracker will host a number of rugged analytical instruments, and enable the measurement of several contaminants in the field, including coliform bacteria, nutrients, metals, pesticides, and tracers of wastewater effluent. Tracker will be able to provide an early and rapid assessment of the health of fish habitat, and will collect samples for additional analyses by partnering service labs. The latter will measure contaminants that can only be analyzed in specialized labs, including pharmaceuticals and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS; ‘forever chemicals’). The combined dataset will be summarized and shared within and among watersheds.

We need your help

In late 2023, we acquired the vehicle that will be converted into Tracker. We are now designing the interior layout and identifying candidate lab instruments that may be deployed with Tracker

We are seeking funds to complete this project, notably by:

  • Contributing to the design and modification of the vehicle
  • Contributing to educational and training material design for watershed partners
  • Contributing to the acquisition of analytical equipment for the mobile lab
  • Contributing to field and safety gear
Some Healthy Waters team members do water sampling over a river and rocks on the lower mainland.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Recent articles

Cargo van next to a river.

Sharing our plans for our future mobile lab

We are thrilled to share the design plan for Tracker – our future mobile lab.
Dr. Peter Ross sampling ocean water.

Building capacity to better protect water

Our community water pollution monitoring initiative.
Sam Scott and Peter Ross standing in front of the future mobile lab, which is a grey sprinter van.

Help us build our new mobile lab, Tracker

Tracker will serve as the new mobile water pollution monitoring lab for our Healthy Waters Program.