Lake Ontario is a vibrant and unique body of water, but it also needs our help. In 2013, there were 3,024 beach advisories on Lake Ontario. These water quality advisories cost Ontario more than $250-million in lost economic value and contributed to an estimated 78,000 waterborne illnesses. Seven communities in our watershed experienced drinking water advisories. And there were fish consumption restrictions on every fish in the lake.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s job is to help communities protect swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. We educate and support individuals and organizations working for clean water. We also investigate threats to the watershed and participate in fact-based processes like license reviews, environmental assessments, and legal hearings.
We discover cases by spending time on the water or by listening to the many individuals and organizations who report their concerns to our organization. Every case begins with a deep respect for the community. We visit sites, conduct research, compile facts, and document the issue.
Every case Waterkeeper pursues is an attempt to strengthen protections in a specific community. When site-specific projects aren’t enough, we work on local, provincial, state, or federal policy issues that will protect many communities all at once.