Niagara Coastal's Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents
For three years, the Niagara Hub has been collecting low-cost, timely, and reliable recreational water quality data for beaches across Niagara’s Lake Erie north shore. This year, funding from the Niagara Community Foundation and a partnership with Niagara College will expand the community-based monitoring hub to include sites across Lake Ontario.
Jul 5, 2022
Photo of two Citizen Scientists standing knee-deep in lake water, one collecting recreational water quality samples and the other recording data on a clipboard.
The Niagara hub engages the community in citizen science, empowering people to monitor and protect their local water bodies by filling data gaps at our local beaches. Through the hub, people are given the opportunity to learn about and become more connected to the water in their communities. Thanks to funding from Niagara Community Foundation's Environmental grant program, residents and visitors will have increased access to up-to-date information about the water conditions present at Niagara’s Lake Ontario beaches which are not currently monitored for recreational water quality. Jones Beach in St. Catharines and Niagara Shores Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake are new sites that will be monitored for recreational water quality from Victoria Day to Labour Day.
The Niagara Hub, run in partnership between Niagara Coastal and Niagara College, will communicate water quality results weekly to the public through the Swim Guide to ensure that Niagara’s communities can make informed decisions about when and where to access the water.
“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast,” adds Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College. “Initiatives such as beach water quality monitoring through the Niagara Hub will provide unique learning opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience while also supporting the local environment here in Niagara. Niagara College looks forward to continued collaboration with the Niagara Hub and Niagara Coastal to support water literacy and improve our understanding of the Great Lakes.”
Learn more about Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Initiative and how you can get involved at www.niagaracoastal.ca/community-based-water-monitoring.
Follow @niagaracoastal on Instagram and Facebook for more updates.
Niagara Coastal gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Niagara Community Foundation, which is a public foundation serving the people of Niagara. The Foundation builds permanently endowed charitable funds for the changing need and opportunities of the community and provides grants to eligible charitable organizations in culture, health, education, environment, recreation and social service sectors.
Two volunteers standing in Lake Erie collecting water samples with whilrpak bags.
About Niagara Coastal:
The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative is committed to understanding and improving the health of Lake Erie’s coast, in collaboration with eNGOs, government, landowners, academia, and community members. They operate across Lake Erie’s north shore in the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral peoples, with acknowledgement that the area influencing this coast includes 29 watersheds contributing to the lake.
Niagara Coastal works on three ecological priorities— nature-based shorelines, healthy beaches, and habitat and species. They are dedicated to optimizing and expanding local action to build a healthy and resilient Lake Erie coastal ecosystem that supports the community's economic, recreational, environmental, and health and well-being needs.
About Niagara College:
Visit Niagara College's Office of Sustainability for more information.
Questions related to the above release should be directed to:
Tessa Anderson, Water Monitoring Program Coordinator