Raincoast named finalist in contest to win a Land Rover Defender, which will serve as a mobile water pollution monitoring lab 

Woman sitting in the back of a truck doing science.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Vancouver, BC – Raincoast Conservation Foundation has been named a finalist among other conservation organizations within the US and Canada in the Land Rover Defender Service Awards. The BC organization was recognized for its work in their Healthy Waters Program; a community-oriented water pollution monitoring initiative that collaborates with Indigenous and community partners. 

The centrepiece of Raincoast’s Healthy Waters Program is to deploy a mobile lab that would provide consistent, onsite water sampling and analysis in communities and watersheds, and be available for environmental emergencies including floods and oil spills. The chance to win a Land Rover emerged as Raincoast was seeking funds this year to acquire a suitable vehicle for its Healthy Waters initiative. This mobile lab will be the platform for community-based sharing, learning, and training, while generating crucial information on the safety of drinking water, the health of salmon-bearing streams, and the downstream quality of killer whale habitat. 

Public voting is open through November 6, 2022, and supporters can vote daily on the Land Rover website. The winners will be announced on November 12. 

“If we win, we are poised for immediate work protecting water alongside our local partners who are best positioned to apply the newly-acquired data to support watershed stewardship,” Dr Peter Ross, Senior Scientist and Director of the Healthy Waters Program at Raincoast. 

The need for a mobile lab became apparent after the catastrophic flooding events of 2021 in BC and Washington State. Raincoast was on the scene, working in partnership with Indigenous-led organizations to collect timely water samples from impacted streams and rivers. Using high quality lab analysis, they documented worrying levels of pesticides, metals, pharmaceuticals, and hydrocarbons. These findings are contributing to planning discussions around building back resilient waterways that support agricultural and local economies, but also protect important salmon habitat.

”Water is precious and under threat. Bringing a mobile laboratory with high end water quality analysis to communities is an investment in capacity-building, science, and stewardship in the watersheds of the temperate rainforests of British Columbia,” said Dr Peter S. Ross, Senior Scientist at Raincoast. 

About Land Rover Defender Service Awards

Inspired by endless acts of service from  organisations working towards social and environmental justice, Land Rover launched the ‘Defender Service Awards’ charitable organizations that are making a positive impact in their community. To honour the legacy of Defender vehicles aiding organisations who serve their communities, Land Rover will award a specially outfitted Land Rover Defender 130 SUV to the five finalists based on public voting, to help further their charitable efforts, along with $25,000.

“Our sincere gratitude goes out to the over 800 charitable organizations who submitted entries for this year’s Defender Service Awards,” said Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “The twenty-five finalists captured a special spirit of service which is part of the fabric of our brand. We look forward to sharing the finalists’ entries with the public and wish them luck.”