I was born and raised in Buffalo and I work for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. I love all the waterways that connect to Lake Erie, and I also lived on the ocean for several years and loved it there as well, but my favourite body of water is Lake Erie itself.
I grew up going over to our family beach house in Fort Erie, Canada. I would spend summers there at Bertie Bay and it’s just this pristine, miles long beach with clear water; it was basically my sanctuary and still is. What I remember about growing up there was the wildlife – catching todds and frogs – and swimming in the water all day to the point that when I went to sleep at night my lungs were sore from holding my breath so much to swim under water.
One particular moment that I remember was going out there early in the morning and the bay was smooth like glass. Normally there were waves, but it was like a glass mirror. I stayed there that entire day until sunset. I remember diving down at sunset and opening my eyes underwater and the water was green, gold, and blue. It was incredible and just felt like home.