Swim Drink Fish to open 6 water quality monitoring hubs on the Great Lakes

July 19, 2018 –

Port Colborne, Ontario -- On July 19, 2018 Swim Drink Fish announced a new citizen science program to bring low-cost, reliable water quality monitoring to beaches, boat clubs, and popular Great Lakes sites.

The Great Lakes Communities Monitoring program will establish and support recreational water quality monitoring hubs in six communities along the Great Lakes, including three First Nations communities. It is developed by the team behind Swim Guide, the beach information app that delivers water quality results for more than 7,000 beaches to users in six countries.

The Great Lakes Communities Monitoring program will:

  • Invent a scalable, sustainable model for regular water quality monitoring that reflects both western science and traditional knowledge;

  • Communicate water quality results to the public quickly so they can make informed decisions about where and when to use the water; and,

  • Identify the communications technology infrastructure required to volunteer-led monitoring across the Great Lakes region, including in First Nations communities.

The first hub is open this summer in downtown Toronto; volunteers are collecting samples in Toronto Harbour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and publish the results to Swim Guide (www.theswimguide.org). Volunteers can also receive training to monitor water where they boat or swim.


“The vast majority of people on the Great Lakes believe that the lakes should be protected, but they don’t know what to do. With these new monitoring hubs, we can help to ensure that everyone, everywhere on the Great Lakes has access to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.”

– Krystyn Tully, Vice President, Swim Drink Fish


Quick Facts

  • The Great Lakes are one of the world’s largest repositories of fresh water: They contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.

  • The Great Lakes contain one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth—sustaining 4000 species of plants and animals.

  • The Great Lakes Basin provides a source of drinking water for one in four Canadians and one in ten Americans.

  • The Great Lakes region represents the third-largest economy in the world, if measured as a country. It supplies 51 million jobs or nearly 30 percent of the combined American and Canadian workforce.

  • This initiative is made possible through a grant by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

  • Swim Drink Fish is a registered charity established in 2001 to restore swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. It is home to initiatives including Swim Guide, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s Great Lakes Challenge, Watermark Project, Fraser Riverkeeper, North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper, and Great Lakes Guide.

Additional Links


Omid Razavi

Communications and Marketing Manager, Swim Drink Fish

416.861.1237 ext 2003


Omid Razavi