Tackling pollution starts with community action

Get to know the waters around you by embracing community-based science. Community-based water monitoring hubs empower communities to monitor their local waters and share the results in real-time through the Swim Guide app.

It all started with the Toronto Hub. For decades, concerns had been rising about pollution in the Toronto Harbour. Sewage in the water was keeping the community from swimming, fishing and enjoying the Lake Ontario waterfront. Using community science, Swim Drink Fish created the Toronto Hub in 2016 to give people the tools and knowledge to routinely monitor their water. This very first hub taught us the special power of helping communities restore and protect places they love — and that it’s part of our shared responsibility.

The Toronto Hub and other Swim Drink Fish hubs are part of a larger group of recreational water monitoring hubs across the Great Lakes region. Thousands of community-based water monitoring hubs collect and share water quality samples from the tip of Lake Superior to the mouth of the Ottawa River. These hubs provide a timely and vital service for their communities and are breaking down the barriers to make science, and access to it, truly inclusive. Could your community benefit from a water monitoring hub?

What Is the Purpose of the Hubs?

Our community-based water monitoring hubs monitor in areas that are under monitored yet are popular sites for recreation. They help protect public health from contaminated water by providing current, reliable water quality data than is open and easily accessible.

These hubs also operate through community-based science and act as a way to connect the community to their water by allowing people to become a part of the sampling process.

Finally, the hubs act as a central source for water literacy education in their communities by participating in events with other like-minded organizations and hosting water literacy events with groups to help inform people about their waters and what they can do to protect and restore them.

Explore the watershed