International Mother Earth Day reminds us of our duty to honour and protect the environment

NWMO’s Environment Program Manager, Joanne Jacyk and Aquatic Fisheries Technician, Andrew Milling from North/South Consultants Inc conducting environmental DNA sampling to further understand aquatic species in the Wabigoon-Ignace area in Northwestern Ontario.

NWMO’s Environment Program Manager, Joanne Jacyk and Aquatic Fisheries Technician, Andrew Milling from North/South Consultants Inc conducting environmental DNA sampling to further understand aquatic species in the Wabigoon-Ignace area in Northwestern Ontario.

Today marks International Mother Earth Day, a time to reflect on what we can all do to honour and protect the environment we all share.

At the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), the health of the earth and the environment is a responsibility we take seriously. Protecting water, people and the environment is at the core of everything we do, and it's woven into the fabric of our work. Our organization’s mandate is to safely manage Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository for millennia.

“International Mother Earth Day serves as a reminder to us all to be responsible stewards of the environment. It is our duty to protect Mother Earth – and to the generations who will follow us on this planet,” said Joanne Jacyk, Environment Program Manager, NWMO.

She added that we have been working closely with community members, Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers, scientists, conservation authorities, industry professionals, youth and more who have told us who that access to, and preservation of Mother Earth is incredibly important and top of mind.

“We have taken this advice, and in every phase of the project, we strive to ensure we are protecting Mother Earth by interweaving Indigenous Knowledge and western science and working together with communities on various programs to protect the environment,” said Ms. Jacyk.

The organization’s commitment to responsible stewardship is embodied, for example, in environmental monitoring programs in both siting areas under consideration for the project — the Wabigoon-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario. The goal of this work is to establish the baseline conditions surrounding the potential repository sites and to deepen knowledge and understanding of the local environment so that we can ensure we are best prepared to protect it today and for the long-term.  

A few of these programs include:

“Caring for the Earth means caring for the environment and water resources we share. Water is a life force that sustains us – and we have a responsibility to respect, protect and nurture it,” said Ms. Jacyk. “That means understanding water, its quality, and its memory, so we can make good decisions as we do our work.”

Happy Mother Earth Day, everyone!

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2023, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.