Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

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Water Docs #WaterChallenge Submissions

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 1:23pm

Want to join the Waterkeeper & Water Docs Campaign for Action this year? Click here to subscribe. Your first email will arrive at the end of the Festival.

Water Docs & Waterkeeper team up with Campaign for Action

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 12:52pm

The Campaign for Action is a 12-month experiment. You can sign up throughout the Water Docs Film Festival or when you hear about it. Every month, we’ll send out a new water-related challenge (like visit the beach in July). Share your experiences with us via email or social media. We’ll pick the best stories each month for our blog. Over the course of the year, we’ll see what motivates people and what doesn’t, what works and what doesn’t, so that by the next World Water Day we will have created a real community of care for water!

You’ll receive an email at the end of the festival with more information. You can also email for additional information.

Campaign member with a sign saying I Love Moose RiverWhy a campaign? We seem to have reached a limit in single-step water conservation actions, whether changing a toilet in your home or cleaning up a local beach. Such actions are important but they tend to be isolated, without the energy to sustain a greater momentum. How do you generate sustained action to protect water? We don’t pretend to have a magic bullet or all of the answers, but we’re working on developing strategies that can be helpful in moving to a place where we are willing and, importantly, able, to take steps that will be effective in moving our lifestyles and our culture to a more sustainable, life-giving approach to water conservation and protection. If this intrigues you, please join with us for a year to explore the hallmarks of sustaining action.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Swim Guide Affiliates Coordinator

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 4:20pm

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Swim Guide Affiliates Coordinator

In 2011, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper built and launched Waterkeeper Swim Guide ( Swim Guide is a smartphone app that shows you your closest beaches and tells you whether or not it is safe to swim. Swim Guide has been expanding rapidly to include beaches all over Canada and the United States and we are seeking an information coordinator to help us manage information related to more than 5,000 beaches in two countries.

With summer fast-approaching, we are ready to fill this position immediately and will begin contacting qualified candidates as soon as applications are received.

This position is perfect for a young professional with a passion for community management, mobile technology, blogging & newsletter writing, cause-related marketing, and a desire to assist nonprofit organizations achieve their clean water goals.

Description of Responsibilities

The Swim Guide Affiliates Coordinator will work for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (creator and owner of the Swim Guide), helping to connect and support 40 Swim Guide affiliates and to expand Swim Guide to new parts of Canada and the USA.

You will be the main point of contact between Swim Guide Affiliates and the Swim Guide platform management team. Working as a bridge between the programs and platform, you will help disseminate information, develop and share best practices, and troubleshoot at the grassroots level.

You will report to the Vice President and work closely with our Community Outreach Manager.

Your primary responsibilities will be:

  • Connecting with and assisting organizations using the Swim Guide platform (Affiliates);
  • Facilitating information sharing between Affiliates;
  • Engaging in ongoing and long-term relationship building with Affiliate programs to help promote their work;
  • Ensuring accuracy and quality of beach information in Swim Guide;
  • Conducting training sessions with Swim Guide Affiliate programs to facilitate launching the program in new locations;
  • Ensuring that water quality information in Swim Guide is up to date at all times, which will require developing a sophisticated understanding of water quality monitoring practices across throughout the USA and Canada;
  • Ensuring that the Swim Guide social media accounts are active; and
  • Posting relevant stories to the Swim Guide blog.

Estimated breakdown of work:

  • Responding to technical or marketing questions from Affiliates (20%)
  • Writing marketing copy and preparing communications materials (20%)
  • Updating the Swim Guide blog & social media feeds (20%)
  • Meeting virtually with Affiliates to learn about their work and their needs (10%)
  • Data management and quality assurance (10%)

Desired Skills and Experience

As the Swim Guide Affiliates Coordinator, you will be part of a close-knit team of dedicated staff working for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. You are our ideal candidate if:

  • You are a skilled communicator with experience working with partners across a variety of cities and cultures;
  • You have a passion for writing for web and creating presentations;
  • You are an effective copy-editor with strong written language skills;
  • You have a keen attention to detail;
  • You are very comfortable with computers, databases, and/or information management;
  • You are committed to accurate, accountable, and thorough data collection;
  • You are familiar with recreational water quality issues or have the ability to quickly learn common terms and background on issues affecting beach water quality;
  • You take initiative;
  • You are a team player, with a positive attitude who is cooperative, and helpful;
  • You are an independent problem-solver;
  • You are interested in social media and blogging;
  • You are passionate about protecting waterways; and,
  • You speak English fluently; bilingual in French and/or Spanish preferred.

Other Information

Duration: Full Time Contract

Start and End Date: Immediately – November 2014

Location: Downtown Toronto

Application Deadline: ASAP. Applications will be reviewed and candidates selected for interviews as they arrive.

Application Information

Each application must include 1 copy of the following documents:

  1. A letter that explains how you fit the description of our ideal candidate, as described above and the name of your favourite beach or the first place you swam;
  2. Your resumé;
  3. Names and contact information for two professional and/or academic references.

Please submit your application as soon as possible to:
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
℅ Miriam Ahmed

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

About Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a Canadian charity working for a day when every person in our watershed can safely touch the water, when the water is pure enough to drink, and when the lake is clean and wild enough that you could toss in a line anywhere and pull out a fish.

Our programs bring together law, science, culture, and digital media in order to connect and empower people to restore polluted places, protect human health, and promote thriving natural spaces.

Founded in 2001 by Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully in the wake of the Walkerton water tragedy, we are part of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s global Waterkeeper Alliance. Through our affiliation with the global watershed protection movement, our work here at home helps to ensure waterways worldwide are protected for all people.

Waterkeeper’s Draft Submission on new Fisheries Act Regulation – For Discussion Purposes

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 12:50am

Public comments on a proposed new Fisheries Act regulation are due Monday, March 17, 2014. (Full details in the Canada Gazette.) Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is finalizing our submission. We believe this is an important and alarming regulation that has been pushed forward without proper public consultation.

You can take a sneak peek at our submission here. To copy and paste sections of the submission for your own records, check out the Google Doc version.


The proposed Regulations Establishing Conditions for Making Regulations under Subsection 36(5.2) of the Fisheries Act (hereafter “Regulation”) fundamentally alter the meaning, intent, and enforceability of one of Canada’s most important federal laws. The Regulation warrants meaningful notice and consultation, which has not yet occurred. In part because of the Government of Canada’s failure to consult with Canadians, including those with expertise on this issue, both the Regulation and the supporting Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (hereafter “RIAS”) contain errors and inaccuracies that will result in harm to Canadian interests.

It would be irresponsible for any official or decision-making body to approve this Regulation before its procedural and substantive flaws have been addressed.

Waterkeeper strongly advises against adopting this Regulation and respectfully recommends that the Government of Canada consult Canadians before taking any further action.

Read our draft submission now.

If you have comments, spotted a typo, or want to tell us anything at all about this submission, shoot us an email. Thanks!

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper responds to National Energy Board’s approval of Line 9 decision

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 5:51pm

March 6, 2014 (TORONTO) – The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved Enbridge’s application to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of the decades-old Line 9B pipeline.

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is disappointed by the NEB’s decision. In our submission to the Board last summer, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper — alongside Lake Erie Waterkeeper, Ottawa Riverkeeper, and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper/Save the River — outlined potential major impacts to the swimmability, drinkability, and fishability of lakes and rivers that the pipeline passes over. The NEB could have denied Enbridge’s application or approved it subject to terms and conditions that would protect the environment.

Today, the NEB approved the application with limited conditions – far fewer and far less stringent than Waterkeeper had expected.

“This is a disappointing decision from one of the last national environmental regulators. Canadians showed up for the hearing in record numbers. People tried to show they cared, but their arguments seem to fall on deaf ears. The result is a weak decision that doesn’t do enough to protect communities or waterways along the pipeline,” says Mark Mattson, President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and an environmental lawyer.

Waterkeeper outlined seven recommendations that would help safeguard swimmable, drinkable, fishable water during the 2013 NEB hearing. We asked the NEB to provide safeguards for the 26-million people that rely on watersheds crossed by Line 9B for their drinking water — no specific safeguards were addressed.

Waterkeeper also asked the NEB to ensure measures to prevent diluted bitumen from leaking into the environment, which would cause devastating effects for wildlife, fish, and human health. These measures were not mentioned in the NEB’s decision.


Allie Kosela
allie [at]

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a Canadian charity working for a day when every person in our watershed can safely touch the water, when the water is pure enough to drink, and when the lake is clean and wild enough that you could toss in a line anywhere and pull out a fish.

Read the full NEB decision here.


Fri, 02/28/2014 - 1:41pm

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a growing nonprofit organization based in Toronto, Ontario. We are seeking an secretary to help our team protect swimmable, drinkable, fishable water during this busy season. Our ideal candidate is a highly-organized, helpful individual who has experience working in an office environment and enjoys being part of a team.

Description of Responsibilities

The Secretary will assist every member of the Waterkeeper staff in their day-to-day work. They are responsible for ensuring that the office is well maintained, that files are well-kept, that databases are up to date, and that key information is available to staff when needed. They will also be the first point of contact for members of the public.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • handling telephone and email inquiries from the public;
  • assisting with donor correspondence;
  • maintaining contact information in the organization’s database;
  • scheduling for core staff;
  • facilitating travel arrangements for core staff; and,
  • maintaining our office space.

Required qualifications (candidates must demonstrate experience in these areas in order to qualify for an in-person interview):

  • at least two years’ experience in an office environment;
  • proven experience using a CRM system or donor database (Salesforce preferred);
  • experience with Google Apps (Docs, Calendar, Gmail) or very strong computer skills; and,
  • comfort using the Mac OS operating system.

Desired skills and abilities:

  • keen attention to detail;
  • enthusiasm for maintaining orderly files and accurate data;
  • ability to learn quickly and retain information;
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills; and,
  • enthusiasm for clean water and environmental justice.

Contract information:

3-month contract with possibility of renewal

Application information:

Please send a cover letter and resumé to:
Miriam Ahmed
miriam at

In your cover letter please answer these questions:
1. Why do you believe you are a great candidate for this position?
2. Why do you want to work for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper?
3. Do you have the qualifications and experience listed in the “Required Qualifications” section above?

More about Lake Ontario Waterkeeper:

Founded in 2001, Waterkeeper is a Toronto-based charitable organization working for a lake where every person can safely swim, drink, and fish. We use law, science, arts, and digital media to stop pollution, protect human health, and restore precious habitat. In our first decade, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper helped secure $1.4-billion in commitments for contaminated site cleanups around Southern Ontario. We defended public participation rights. We saved more than 1.6-million fish. Our community is 20,000 people strong and growing every day. You can learn more about our organization at and about our Swim Guide program at

Thank you, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper supporters!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 10:14am

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has the best supporters in the world!

In November, we confirmed that the City of Toronto dumped 1-billion litres of untreated sewage into Lake Ontario during the July 8th storm. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper asked for your financial support to help us focus on sewage and stormwater pollution in 2014.

We set a fundraising goal of $10,000. To date, you have helped us raise $17,547. Thank you so much for your support. Your contribution will help Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s efforts to make it mandatory for the City of Toronto to alert the public when there is a sewage spill.

If you still want to make a financial contribution to make an impact on recreational water quality, there is still time!

You can donate in 3 ways:
1. Donate online through our Toronto Sewage fundraiser.
2. Send a cheque to 600 Bay Street, Suite 410, Toronto, ON M5G 1M6.
3. Contact our office if you want to donate by credit card over the phone. Call 416-861-1237.

Thanks for helping us make 2013 go out with a bang! See you in 2014.