Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents
“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast.” – Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College.
News from The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative
Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – With provincial government ministries and agencies, historically responsible for environmental and natural ecosystem protection missing in action and often unwillingly to openly communicate with the public and media about concerns in these areas – except through a lens contaminated by political interests – it is becoming more and more important that we have partnerships and projects like this.
In an age when government agencies are shamelessly letting us down, citizen-based initiatives, working in partnership with learning institions likeNiagara College and Brock University (to the extent those institutions are willing to involve themselves in projects that may upset the political powers that be, appear to be the wave of the future.
It is becoming ever more clear that citizens have to play the lead role in protecting and conserving our environment. At a time when every region of the world, including ours, is vulnerable to damaging and deadly climate-related disasters, we can no longer count on government-based bodies to do it.)
Now here is the News from Niagara Coastal-
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.
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.
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 .
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.
For more on the Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative, click on – https://www.niagaracoastal.ca/ a
About Niagara College-Visit Niagara College’s Office of Sustainability for more information.
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