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River Safety Quest

Spring Water Awareness ProgramThis is the page of the former Spring Water Awareness (SWAP) program. 

The new program for schools is called River Safety Quest.

This program educates students about staying safe in times of flooding. River Safety Quest helps students increase their understanding of the impacts of flooding on plants, animals, and humans and how to keep themselves safe around water. 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation reaches out to schools located in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. Flooded Habitats and You includes both guided and interactive activities and the students have fun while learning about making appropriate safety decisions around waterways.

River Safety Quest

formerly Spring Water Awareness Program (SWAP)

River Safety Quest is a FREE program available to all schools within Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds from November to April. 

Junior division students enjoy age-appropriate activities that are designed to teach children about flooding, its impact on plants, animals and humans and how to take responsibility for their own safety around water. 

Water safety messaging has now been integrated into the Our Water World program at the Primary Level.  Please book this in-school program to ensure students learn about dangers around water.

Ask about booking River Safety Quest in your classroom for grades 4-8. 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation elementary watershed schools are welcome to book your FREE River  Safety Quest by contacting Denise Iszczuk at diszczuk(at) or Nina Sampson nsampson(at)

Website links

For useful information on teaching and learning about being safe around water visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation links page and look for the 'River Safety Quest' links:

Key Messages

Accidents are the leading cause of death among children 5-15 years of age. Many accidents are the result of lack of education and awareness. A concerted effort on all of our parts to teach children the dangers of thin ice and fast flowing rivers and creeks will give them the edge they need to play safely and avoid a tragedy this spring.

  1. Never play by water when you are alone.
  2. Always have an adult check if the ice is thick enough before you play on it.
  3. Never stand up in a canoe.
  4. Always wear a life jacket near water.
  5. Never drink water directly from a river or creek or pond.
  6. Always read and obey warning signs near water.
  7. Never play by dams and water control structures.
  8. Never go out at night on ice or unknown areas
  9. Always tell an adult where you are playing and when you'll be home.
  10. Call 911 or get a parent or guardian for all water-related emergencies.
  11. Take safety equipment with you and have it ready
Key Terms
  • Black, Gray or Blue Ice: Dark areas of ice that are thin and weak spots
  • Channel: The area between the banks of a stream where water normally flows
  • Conservation: The wise use and protection of our natural resources
  • Conservation authority: A community-based environmental protection agency with responsibilities under the Conservation Authorities Act.
  • Culvert: A large pipe or tube that allows water to flow under a road or driveway
  • Current: The force of moving water
  • Dam: A barrier set across a river to control the flow of water
  • Disoriented: Confused; unable to make sense of one's surroundings
  • Erosion: The movement of soil by wind, water or ice
  • Evaporation: The process by which water turns into a gas and goes to the sky.
  • Flood: The overflowing of water in a river onto the flood plain
  • Flood plain: The flat land beside a watercourse that periodically becomes covered by water; the river's living space
  • Freshet: A great increase in the amount of water in a stream caused by heavy rains or melting snow, usually in the spring
  • Hazard: A source of danger or risk, especially to one's personal safety
  • Hypothermia: A life-threatening condition in which a person's deep body temperature is lowered by exposure to cold air or water.
  • Water Cycle: The process of water movement from the ground to the sky and back.
  • Waterway: Any body of water flowing into another body of water
  • Watershed: An area of land that drains into a river or lake
  • Wetland: A type of habitat that has water in it for all or part of the year.
Contact us

Click this link for our staff contacts page: