Raphael Nowak, author of upcoming book about Okanagan Lake. Photo: Contributed

Local author launching book about Okanagan Lake

Raphael Nowak has studied history and science of the lake for 15 years

A local researcher and author is preparing to launch the first book written exclusively about Okanagan Lake.

Raphael Nowak has been passionately studying the science and history of the lake for nearly 15 years, and recently completed a degree in freshwater science at UBC Okanagan.

The upcoming 272-page book provides a comprehensive and illustrated investigation into the science and history of the lake, with special emphasis on personal research expeditions conducted in the deep abyss.

“While Okanagan Lake is such a famous and precious freshwater resource, there is still so much we are continually learning,” said Nowak.

The book,titled “Okanagan Lake—An Illustrated Exploration Above and Below the Waters,” includes a chapter dedicated to scientific concepts of the lake, including limnology, biology and geology.

Another chapter is dedicated to the history of lake transportation, mainly accomplished by passenger and tug steamboats, barges, and ferries and the original Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge completed in 1958.

When the new William R. Bennett Bridge was opened in 2008, controversy ensued as a result of the proposal to sink the 12 decommissioned bridge pontoons.

The author was instrumental in preventing the lake from being used as a cheap landfill, and chronicles those efforts in the book.

Nowak also features original underwater studies and discoveries, made possible by self-built underwater gear including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), sonar and camera rigs.

“I have always had a natural curiosity and healthy respect for this lake, which has driven me to learn more about the unexplored concepts of the lake,” he said.

Other issues addressed in the book outline what exists at the bottom of Okanagan Lake, how was the lake created, the impact of a growing population and what physical, geological, and biological processes are at play within the lake.

The book is expected to be available this fall. At this stage, the design and layout phase has been completed, as Nowak is now looking to raise funds to assist in covering the printing costs.

If you feel that this is a project worth supporting, visit the GoFundMe online campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/okanagan-lake-book.

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