Aaron Brophy, samaritanmag.com, October 24, 2017
Downie, who recently passed away at age 53, was an avid supporter of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and its related causes.
Started in 2000 by lawyer Mark Mattson and researcher Krystyn Tully, the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper charity, "helps to create a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future by connecting and empowering people in order to stop pollution, protect human health, and restore habitat."
In action the organization provides daily information on the pollution levels of Ontario waters, runs workshops on how to effectively advocate to protect water and works to defend the public's right to clean water.
In a conversation with music industry veteran Denise Donlon in 2013, for a 13-minute "uncut Lake Ontario Waterkeeper" video, Downie explained the organization's value.
"To me it's very basic," Downie said. "They're just good people trying to help communities trying to get to that table where their environmental, their pollution future is being decided. And you need lawyers for that, you need experts, you need water specialists, you need lawyers with a conscience who can do more than a priest." Read More
Pam Douglas, Brampton Guardian, October 13, 2017
Ontario Streams partnered with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper in the rehabilitation work and it was Waterkeeper program manager Rebecca Harrison who spotted her first redside dace the day before the spill, in the water overrun by the spill.
“We are happy to hear that the discharge was found to be non-toxic from the preliminary testing and we remain thankful for the provincial and federal agencies that moved quickly to address this spill,” she said. “We are still concerned with this site and hits history of problems. Therefore, we will continue to monitor the situation with our partners.”
Water Canada Magazine, October 12, 2017
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s 2nd Annual Toronto Harbour Report launched on Wednesday to a crowd of volunteers, donors and community stakeholders.
The report summarized Waterkeeper’s findings and offers recommendations that will help to protect Toronto Harbour and water users. It highlighted the continued problem with raw sewage pollution from Toronto’s combined sewage outflows within the inner harbour.
Over the last two years, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has been collecting water samples to test for E. coli, as well as water clarity, colour, smell, and turbidity, and visual signs of pollution. The report noted, “Every Wednesday, the team gathered on the waterfront to collect water samples and record observations about water quality. A handful of additional samples were also collected after heavy rains, in order to monitor changes to water quality. Between May 17 and September 6, the team visited the harbour 20 times, collecting a total of 339 samples from the three locations.” Read more
Pam Douglas, Brampton Guardian, October 3, 2017
The spill was discovered and reported by a group from Lake Ontario Waterkeeper working with Ontario Streams in the rehabilitation of the creek bank. When they arrived to resume work around 10 a.m., the substance was pouring out of the drain and into the creek.
The spill was cleaned up, but the environmental damage has not yet been quantified.
“You couldn’t see more than one centimetre into the water,” said Rebecca Harrison, who, as programs manager for Waterkeeper, witnessed the spill. “It was just black.”
Ainslie Cruickshank, Toronto Star, October 11, 2017
The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper wants the city to conduct regular water testing in Toronto’s inner harbour, after its own sampling program revealed variable water quality that in one location failed to meet provincial E. coli standards almost 80 per cent of the time.
Samples from the busiest sampling location, meanwhile, met the provincial safety standard 85 per cent of the time.
“It shows the importance of sampling on a regular basis,” said Krystyn Tully, the vice president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
On poor water quality days people shouldn’t let water splash into their eyes, ears, nose or mouth and should wash their hands when they leave the water, she said. Read more
CBC News Toronto, October 11, 2017
In a report released Wednesday, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper says water samples collected at Bathurst Quay failed to meet E. coli bacteria standards set by the province 78 per cent of the time, while water samples collected at Rees Street Slip met standards 85 per cent of the time. Bathurst Quay, in particular, has a sewage debris problem, it said. Swings in water quality show that regular testing is necessary, says Krystyn Tully, co-founder of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. "We need swimmable water in the harbour," she told CBC Toronto on Wednesday. "Even if people aren't swimming, because people are touching the water they are coming into contact with it."
Angelica Morrison, WBFO 88.7, October 5, 2017
In Toronto, it’s an issue that environmental groups have been battling for years. Every time there’s heavy rain, stuff from people’s toilets -- like condoms and tampons -- are found in Lake Ontario. "Another problem is when the sewer systems were built, they were built to capture sewage for a certain number of people and a lot of the cities have grown," she said. "There's a lot more people living in the city today, than there was 10 years ago, 15 years ago. So, we actually don't physically have the capacity."