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As a shared responsibility, Biinaagami encompasses many tools of engagement to better help its community get involved in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. 


Watermark Project


A Watermark is your story about a waterbody in the Great Lakes ecosystem that shapes your connection to water. It’s often about a time or moment when you connected to this watershed and why that moment is important to you.


Your Watermark could be a shared moment of peace in Georgian Bay, your first trip to the beaches along Lake Michigan, fishing for perch in Lake Erie, or watching the storms come in over Lake Superior. It could be a time you felt concerned for this ecosystem, or a time when you were concerned for yourself as the water’s strength nearly swept you away.


Sharing a Watermark can help us identify a connection to the Great Lakes. These connections help remind us all why we care about the Great Lakes, why it’s a shared responsibility to protect and restore them.


At the heart of the Watermark Project is the belief that:

“Somewhere, some waterbody is a part of who you are.”

Community Science Toolkit:


How can you conserve and protect our freshwaters? 

Join us in making Biinaagami, a shared responsibility,  to address the environmental health and sustainability of the Great Lakes ecosystem. We all need to work together to conserve and protect this precious source of one quarter of the world’s freshwater


The diversity of our great lake communities reflects the diversity of ways we can connect and protect our waters. There is no single blueprint for how we can best protect our waters. There is no right way, there’s only the way that feels right to you. 


How do I connect to water? 

We believe connection is essential to fostering connection. If you don’t know why you want to protect water, it’s hard to be motivated to do the work, and it’s hard to understand how you’ll have the greatest impact. When we are connected to water, we are motivated to protect it, because people protect what they love.


  1. Know your watermark/your local water body (personal connection)- how do you connect to water? Maybe that’s by swimming, reading, fishing… in connection with water, we can help understand why we want to protect it 

  2. Learn about your local water? How do other people connect and interact with your local water body?

  3. Get engaged with your local water loving community (know your community connection). Maybe there’s a water polo or underwater hockey club you’ve always thought about joining, maybe there are water advocacy groups that fight for the rights of our waters and that gives you goosebumps. 

  4. Learn the rules, learn the concerns: Who makes the decisions about how your water bodies are protected? Whose voices are heard? What laws, treaties, and regulations define how your water body is managed and used? 


How do I Protect water? 

Through understanding and fostering a connection to water through your community and personal relationship,  you’ve developed a raison d’etre.  You recognize the value of water to yourself and your community as a life-giving entity, and you recognize the need to act reciprocally. Whatever you’ve found through fostering your connection to water, you’re now looking for ways to protect it. The ways to protect water are as diverse as the ways we connect to it. To find a means to protecting water that works for you, consider your skills and what types of activities motivate you. To protect your water body, consider these actions… 


  1. Participate: Participate in stewardship activities in a way that matters to you. Explore ways to get involved in your local community through shoreline cleanups, community science, and water literacy and advocacy circles

  2. Inspire others: Use the resources you’ve gained to get connected with your community. Call your community in by inviting them to learn about the water bodies that shape their lives, bring educational tools into your classroom. 

  3. Make a commitment: to make a difference in protecting our waters, it takes time. Commit your time and bring your skills to the work that inspires you. Maybe from your participation you’ve found a group you’d like to devote your time to supporting and you’re becoming a regular volunteer or group leader. 

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