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New citizen science water monitoring hubs open for summer


July 8, 2019
By Ground Water Canada

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Toronto – Three citizen science water quality monitoring hubs are now testing the water and sharing water quality results with swimmers and boaters on the Great Lakes through Swim Guide, a free app and website. 

The water quality monitoring hubs were created by Swim Drink Fish with 1.8-million dollars in funding assistance from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative, Swim Drink Fish said in a news release.

Volunteers help hub co-ordinators collect water samples in places where people swim, boat, and hold ceremonial activities. Swim Drink Fish analyzes the samples and tells the community if the water meets established standards for recreational water quality. The results are published in the Swim Guide (theswimguide.org or download the app from Apple and Android). 

These hubs are part of a four-year demonstration project meant to engage underserved communities on the Great Lakes in water quality monitoring, data-sharing, and stewardship. Swim Drink Fish’s goal is to invent a scalable, sustainable model for ongoing water quality monitoring in Great Lakes communities. The hubs are also supported in part by the Anishinabek Nation and IDEXX.    

Swim Drink Fish, a Canadian charity connecting people with water, established the first monitoring hub in downtown Toronto through its Lake Ontario Waterkeeper initiative in 2016. The second hub launched in the fall of 2018 on Manitoulin Island and is hosted by  Zhiibaahaasing First Nation. The third hub was established in Spring 2019, on the north shore of Lake Erie in the Niagara region. The Lake Erie – Niagara hub is hosted by the Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative and Niagara College, and will be located at the college’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. Samples will be collected weekly in Niagara and Zhiibaahaasing First Nation and twice a week in Toronto. Local residents can volunteer or donate to support the monitoring hubs by visiting www.swimdrinkfish/citizen-science