I first swam as a child in the waves at the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. Here, I learned to catch wild, wriggling fish with my brothers and sisters and cousins and friends. I quenched my thirst with the cold blue water of this Great Lake.
My lifelong love of water and my personal connection to Lake Ontario inspired me to become your Waterkeeper ten years ago. With your support, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper achieved many milestones during our first decade:
Despite our successes, our freshwater is in jeopardy.
Please renew your support for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper today. Together, we must do more to tackle the emerging environmental crisis.
Signs of trouble
When I travel from Kingston to Toronto, it is impossible not to notice that two-thirds of the original wetlands are gone. Concrete and dirt fill our marshes and creek mouths, making it almost impossible for many fish to reproduce naturally. Children cast their lines in search of perch or bass, often pulling out invasive species, clumps of spiny water fleas, or garbage instead.
People call my office with concerns about their drinking water. Right now, three communities near Lake Ontario are under boil water advisories. Throughout the year, several communities faced blue-green algae outbreaks. These psychedelic algae blooms are so dangerous that they can cause liver damage in humans and poison animals.
This summer, I saw beaches failing to meet minimum water quality standards in every community I visited. In 2011, 66% of beaches on Lake Ontario failed water quality tests for bacteria. When sewage pollutes beaches, your risk of contracting infection, rash, illness or disease increases. Find out how your beach did this year.
Alone in the crisis
The last time things were this bad, governments in Canada and the USA responded to the crisis by creating a host of environmental laws and programs. That was the 1970s. This time, as fish and birds are dying and the Great Lakes return to the brink of collapse, governments are dismantling the very same laws and programs that once protected us.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is now the one and only full-time voice for Lake Ontario. We are the only ones who spend every single day thinking about how to protect your ability to safely swim, drink, and fish.
Waterkeeper has a plan to safeguard your water
Reconnect people to water. Build Swim Guide
Halt the most outrageous acts of devastation. Win the most important case of our lives: industrial fish kills; and
Nurture a new generation of leaders through our Clean Water Workshop.
I am relying on supporters like you to help me raise $20,000 before December 31st. We are already half-way there!
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s science, law, and educational programs are crucial for protecting our lake, but they cost money:
$30 to track water quality at one beach for one year;
$60 to supply educational materials to one Clean Water Workshop student;
$100 to collect one batch of water samples;
$500 to send one Waterkeeper response team to one polluted site.
You can help. Please donate now.
This is our home. The water of Lake Ontario courses through the bodies of everyone who lives in this watershed. It flows from your tap. Lake Ontario seeps through the ground under your feet. It falls from the clouds. The lake never leaves us. Lake Ontario can be saved, but it’s up to the people who live here to do it. It’s up to you.
Thank you so much,
President & Waterkeeper
P.S. - It is possible to create a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. It is not possible to do it without you. Whether you give $30 or $500, your contribution helps secure clean water for 9-million people. Thank you for your donation.