Back in June, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper vowed to “make this summer count”. And count it did! Here are some of the highlights from summer 2012 and a look ahead to fall.
New Swim Guide App
We kicked off the swimming season with a revamped, expanded Swim Guide app that exploded with popularity all over Canada and the USA. We now track water quality at 3,000 beaches on the Great Lakes, Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Coasts for 90,000 Swim Guide users.
Swim Guide ads
Corus Entertainment donated advertising air-time to help promote Swim Guide. Terry O'Reilly and his team at Pirate Radio created a series of ads introducing radio audiences in Toronto, Hamilton, and Kingston to our beach finder app. The combined talents of Corus and Pirate Radio helped us triple the number of Swim Guide users in one summer.
Click on the links to hear the ads.
Swim Guide Beach Team brought to you by Keen Canada
Keen Canada sponsored the Swim Guide Beach Team every weekend this summer. Led by Diana Chang, our team hit the beaches in Toronto to find out how you spend your time at the beach and to test your beach knowledge. Our report will be out this fall (hint: it’s awesome).
BlogTO beach series
We teamed up with BlogTO to bring you a series of in-depth profiles about Toronto’s beaches. Did you know that there are 90 beach volleyball courts at Woodbine beach? Have you heard about the clothing-optional section of Hanlan’s beach? Get the skinny on all of Toronto’s beaches here.
We’re now writing for Huffington Post Canada
In August, we launched a new blogging partnership with Huffington Post Canada. Early articles, like last week’s piece by Krystyn Tully, introduce Lake Ontario Waterkeeper to readers and offer ways to help you enjoy nature responsibly. You can catch upcoming articles by becoming a fan on HuffPo.
In July, Kingston’s Water Access Group organized the city’s second Mass Swim. Hundreds of local beach lovers gathered at the beach to promote accessible, clean water in Kingston. This issue is especially important in Kingston, where shoreline development makes the waterfront notoriously difficult to access.
Two weeks later, Waterkeeper Alliance held its first ever international Swimmable Action Day. Tens of thousands of beach lovers rallied together in support of clean, accessible, water for one of the biggest water quality awareness days of 2012. Check out Waterkeeper Alliance’s Facebook page for photos.
We were so lucky to work with a fantastic team this summer. In addition to the numerous volunteers who filled our office all summer long, we owe a big thank you to our intern Caitlin Cross, Diana, and our Swim Guide Researcher Allison Roberts.
Even as we say “so long” to our summer staff, we are excited to welcome Mirjam Kleine to our office. After heading up Viva Con Agua in Germany for five years, Mirjam comes to Waterkeeper to help keep our office under control until spring.
We are now accepting applications for 2012-2013 internship positions. If you know someone looking for experience in communications, fundraising, or events, please spread the word.
What’s next for Waterkeeper?
Fall is on the horizon and we’re gearing up for some of the toughest work in Waterkeeper's history. We await the date for our legal challenge in the Darlington New Nuclear Case. We prepare for the November hearing regarding the Darlington refurbishment project, as well. In both cases, our goal is to save the billions of fish, eggs, and larvae destroyed by these power plants over their lifetimes.
When we aren’t working on cooling water, the Port Hope Low-Level Radioactive waste site and the Oshawa ethanol plant development will keep us busy.
The coming months will be a challenge for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and the 9-million people that rely on Lake Ontario every day. We’re rolling up our sleeves and diving in. Through education, law, and collaboration, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper will work for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable lake.
A Lake Ontario where you can swim, drink, and fish is possible. But not without your help. Donate to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper now.