Why the citizen science hub thing we started might change the Great Lakes forever

Me, far right. That’s the smile of someone who really loves water quality monitoring. Some time in 2001, I took my first water sample. I know it was in Toronto, but I’m not sure where it was. It could have been a leaking landfill at King’s Mill Park on the Humber River, an old gas station seeping into Wendigo Creek in High Park, or a sewer pipe emptying into Taylor Massey Creek.The funny thing about…

Continue reading


Study finds closed beaches, contaminated water around Ontario

In 2002-2003, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper sought to find whether a little-known provincial water quality goal (Procedure F-5-5) was protecting waterways from the impacts of combined sewer overflows and keeping our beaches clean enough for swimming.Key findings:65% of all samples included in study did not meet Provincial Water Quality Objectives.79% of all samples taken by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper did not meet Provincial Water Quality Objectives.Dry weather overflows still occur in 100% of the regions studied.Only 9…

Continue reading


Job Posting: Digital Community Specialist

Position Type: Full TimeLocation: Toronto, Ont.Start Date: July 2019Swim Drink Fish is a Canada-based organization connecting people with water. We help more than 3-million people discover the importance of nature in their lives and provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to safeguard swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. As the Digital Community Specialist, your mission is to ensure that every person in the Swim Drink Fish community feels connected to a global movement of people…

Continue reading


“Flushable” items and pharmaceuticals aren’t flushable after all, two new reports say

Since my earliest memories in the early 1990s, I was taught not to flush certain things like hair or paper towel because they would plug the toilet. The fear of embarrassment from plugging a toilet at a friend’s place has stopped me from flushing anything but toilet paper down the toilet. Over the last decade, an increasing number of consumer products are being touted as “flushable”. These products range from facial tissue, moist wipes, toddler…

Continue reading


Toronto Harbour seeing effects of rising Lake Ontario water levels

Lake Ontario’s swim season has arrived during record high water levels. As you spend more time by the water, you will notice how these water levels impact your favourite waterfront destinations. Lake Ontario - like all Great Lakes - is dynamic. Great Lakes Guide’s Meghan Callon recently wrote about the 6 things you should know about water levels in the Great Lakes. Since that article was written, current water levels are now the highest ever…

Continue reading


Job Posting: Toronto Harbour Monitoring Hub Assistant

Position Type: Full Time, Fixed Term ContractLocation: Downtown TorontoStart Date: ImmediatelySwim Drink Fish is a growing charity working for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. Our programs bring together law, science, culture, and digital media in order to connect and empower people to restore polluted places, protect human health, and promote thriving natural spaces. We are hiring a Monitoring Hub Assistant to help run the Toronto Community Monitoring Hub for the summer of 2019. This program serves…

Continue reading


Swim Drink Fish submission for Ontario’s environment plan

This week Swim Drink Fish submitted comments to the Government of Ontario on its provincial environment plan. As a Swim Drink Fish initiative, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper hopes the province will understand the deep and profound importance of water, especially the Great Lakes, to this province after reading this submission. Waterkeeper wants this understanding to inform how the province safeguards water in this region. Swim Drink Fish learned about the proposed plan in November 2018. Shortly…

Continue reading


Is Hamilton about to re-connect with Lake Ontario?

Photo by Dylan Neild Good news for the southwestern shores of Lake Ontario may be coming.This week the Hamilton Spectator reported Hamilton City Council has requested city staff provide transparency to its residents, within 24-hours of sewage overflows in the harbour and surrounding creeks.With the City of Hamilton stating they will alert the public of "Any Discharges of Untreated or Partially Treated Sewage" this evidently includes combined sewer overflows (CSOs). According to Wastewater System Effluent…

Continue reading


Even in winter the Gord Edgar Downie Pier remains a beacon

Photo by Shane Schofield Six months after its public opening, the Gord Edgar Downie Pier remains a beacon for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water across the Great Lakes. My recent trip to Kingston with Mark Mattson reminded me of this. This pier helps people reimagine their connection to Lake Ontario and is shaping a new generation of water leaders.While the summertime crowds hibernate, the swimming pier's magic remains. The breeze, the view, the pier’s connection to…

Continue reading


Why you should spend more time by the water in 2019

What would you say if someone asked you, “How can I help Lake Ontario this year?”This is a common question for the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper team. Our suggestion? Make connecting to Lake Ontario a priority for 2019 and spend more time by the water. The first step to protecting Lake Ontario is connecting to the water. Connection before protectionYou can help Lake Ontario by spending time on the water. Here are some ideas to get…

Continue reading