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Swim Drink Fish

Lake Erie - Niagara Community Monitoring Hub

116 Observations
0 Issues
7 Locations


Gregary Ford
20 Points
David Meeker
0 Points
Tessa Anderson
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Swim Drink Fish was founded in 2001, and originally had the name ‘Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’. The mission was to protect the watersheds in Southern Ontario, where the founders, Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully, grew up. The organization uses a multidisciplinary approach in applying environmental law, science, storytelling and technology to educate and empower people to protect their local waters. Currently, Swim Drink Fish is focused on safeguarding the waters of the The Great Lakes and other Canadian waterbodies.

The Lake Erie - Niagara Community Monitoring Hub is one of five across the Great Lakes and is part of a four year citizen science project by Swim Drink Fish, established with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada's Great Lake Protection Initiative. The Lake Erie - Niagara Hub was established in 2019 in collaboration with Niagara College and the Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative. By engaging the Niagara community in citizen science, the hub promotes stewardship of Lake Erie and provides low-cost, reliable water quality monitoring data for recreational water bodies across the north shore of Lake Erie.

Recreational water samples are collected once a week by Swim Drink Fish staff and trained volunteer citizen scientists. Samples are analyzed for E. coli in lab space provided by Niagara College at its Niagara-on-the-Lake campus using IDEXX lab equipment. E.coli is straightforward to measure and is the most widely used indicator for assessing recreational water quality in the world. For these reasons, Swim Drink Fish chose to focus on E.coli measurements, despite the wide variety of pollutants that are present in natural waterbodies.
Recreational beach water results are all shared with the public through the Swim Guide app, a Swim Drink Fish initiative, and the raw data is made available on Swim Drink Fish’s Open Data Portal for recreational water quality.

Water testing protocol

We test primarily for the presence of E. coli. with the use of the IDEXX system. We also record water temperature, and depth of clarity. At specific sampling sites we also take readings for DO, pH, Alkalinity, Hardness, and Chlorine.

Areas monitored

Lake Erie, Niagara