This month Waterkeeper wrapped up it’s Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival by naming Kingston’s Water Access Group the first Great Lakes Community Guardian. Waterkeeper President and co-founder, Mark Mattson, made the official announcement prior to the start of the Waterkeeper Showcase at the Wolfe Island Music Festival. In addition, Krystyn Tully, Vice President and co-founder of Waterkeeper, chatted with the Kelly and Company about Watermark Project; North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper released it’s first water-quality tests; and Swim Guide was featured in a couple of stories from Durham region to Montana.
Kelly & Company, Accessible Media Inc.
“The Watermark Project is collecting stories about how Canadians interact with the rivers and lakes in their community. Vice President & Co-founder, Swim Drink Fish Canada, Krystyn Tully tells us more.”
CBC News - Edmonton
"The North Saskatchewan River is shedding its grimy reputation and earning acclaim as a swimmer's paradise, thanks to a new water monitoring project.
For years, the river has been called polluted, but a project by North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper and and Swim Drink Fish Canada is hoping to change those perceptions and encourage more Edmontonians to take the plunge."
“Group releases first water-quality tests for those thinking of swimming in North Saskatchewan River”
Elise Stolte, Edmonton Journal
"Recreational users want to know why they should or shouldn’t swim,” said Hans Asfeldt, the main contact for North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper. His team is monitoring for E. coli at three sites: the Capilano boat launch near 50 Street, the Laurier boat launch near the Valley Zoo and the beach-like sandbar near the Fort Edmonton footbridge."
Julia Wong, Global News
Hans Asfeldt, who is in charge of the new monitoring program, said there’s a misconception attached to recreationally using in the river. “One of the key perceptions people have is they see this brown colour and they think, ‘oh the river is so dirty and I’m not going to touch it.’ But in reality, most of that colour comes from the natural sediment that is entirely harmless,” he said.
The Morning Show: CKWS TV
Mark Mattson president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper chats about the work to improve the water quality of Lake Ontario going on here in the Kingston area. Swimmable, drinkable and fishable water is the goal for Waterkeeper.
Ian MacAlpine, Kingston Whig-Standard
… Mark Mattson, the president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, said Sheedy is a generous supporter of his group through her art.
Over the past few years, Sheedy has hosted multimedia art exhibitions with a variety of artists, promoting the theme of water and specifically the Kingston watershed and Lake Ontario.
"Su Sheedy, as part of the Artist Access Group, has supported our organization through her art," Mattson said.
Sheedy's donated pieces at Waterkeeper fundraisers go for double or triple the value, Mattson said.
"She's been a huge influence."
Mattson calls Sheedy and McDonald two local pioneers in water quality issues.
"They've agreed to become Great Lakes Community Guardians to implement our swim tools, guide and water mark," he said.
According to the group, The Watermark project collects stories and shares the way people experience water and reminds people about the importance of safeguarding swimmable, drinkable and fishable communities.
Mattson said 300 Watermarks have been collected from this area with about 4,000 overall.
"As I look at the stories, peoples' connection to the water really revolves around family and community," Mattson said.
The duo were also selected as water guardians for the work they have done locally with the Water Access Group.
On behalf of the group, McDonald maintains a website and Facebook page with news about issues and upcoming events.
"Our role as the Water Access Group is just to try and continue to keep the waterfront in people's imagination," McDonald said.
"It's a good reflection of Kingston's community commitment to trying to create a better waterfront that they recognize there's a very vibrant discussion and movement happening here now that Kingston finally has a waterfront master plan in place."
Tasha Kheiriddin, AM640
Mark Mattson, President & Co-founder of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper joined the show to discuss the reopening of Toronto Island and preventing future floods.
Shawn Micallef, Toronto Star
“With so much water surrounding the city we should have a robust population of open water swimmers, but we don’t. When I visit Malta I love seeing what I call the “floating nannas” who spend hours in baseball caps and sunglasses bobbing in the sea and gossiping about their grandchildren. Perhaps it was the decades of pollution that stifled that culture here, but groups such as the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and their excellent Swim Guide give beach and water information across Ontario and beyond. The water, you’ll find, is most often fine to swim in.”
“Johnston said ‘that within three weeks of its launch on June 24 there was more than 400 downloads of the app, which was developed by the Toronto, Canada-based Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. I am an affiliate of the [Swim Guide],’ Johnston said. ‘The only one in Montana.’ The various stakeholders in the Flathead Lake Swim Guide gather water samples from the various swimming areas weekly and take them to the Flathead Lake Biological Station for testing. Once the monitoring results are finalized they are posted on the Swim Guide website and weekly in the Char-Koosta News.”
“Get the kids out to celebrate every last summer day, with the freedom of beach-hunting from your smartphone. Swim Guide makes it easy to know the water quality at your local beach. A green icon means your beach has met water quality criteria and a red icon means the water has failed the latest test. You can also get details on when the status was posted, who does the testing and historical information on how often the beach passes water quality tests.”
Marg Knott, KingstonRegion.com
“It was in that spirit — and in light of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s Kingston and Wolfe Island Cultural Festival, a celebration of Great Lakes Voices, along with their ongoing focus on water quality — that council supported MPP Sylvia Jones’ (Dufferin-Caledon) private members Bill 141, ‘to report all instances of sewage bypasses to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and to make that information available to the public no longer than 24 hours after being reported.’”
Big Breakfast with Brian Bailey, 96.3 BIG FM
Mark Mattson, co-founder and President at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, dropped by 96.3 FM’s "BIG Breakfast with Brian Bailey" to talk about Kingston's leadership in working toward a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Lake Ontario.