Lake Erie, ON - Helena Ciccone | Great Lakes Guide
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Lake Erie, ON

Helena Ciccone

Sadly my part of Lake Erie is dying. When I first saw the shores of Lake Erie it was in the Early Spring of March 2013. To me it was as if I witnessed the most beautiful beach in the world. I’ve travelled throughout Canada and the US to vacation on many of North America’s waterfronts whether it be oceans, lakes or rivers. But this beach, Waverly Beach, was so special I decided to make this Lakeside community of Fort Erie home of my dream retirement.

As my new home was being built just steps away from the waterfront we decided to drive down from Toronto to inspect it’s building progress. It was in the first week of July. We were excited at the prospect of swimming so we made sure were brought along our bathing suits to test the waters at our nearby beach.

These photos show what our beach looked like in that summer of 2013. Not only were we mortified by the view but we were also sickened by the over powering toxic smell of beached rotting Cladophora Algae mats. What a shock it was to all our senses. Needless to say we were horrified by our decision to retire on Lake Erie, Ontario after leaving our beloved city of Calgary, Alberta.

To this day I have been working hard as a volunteer with the Town of Fort Erie to find answers as to why so much algae accumulates on our public beach and how to find solutions that can help our community have access to a clean beach, clean swimmable water and a healthy sustainable environment. Previously I have also reached out to many of IJC executives and high level administrators only to be told that we can’t be helped because it’s complicated.

Yes it’s complicated when you’re not a scientist. But if my community could have some help with the science then maybe it could be a start to ensure a more viable healthy future for Waverly Beach.

Thank you for the opportunity to have my story heard.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail

This watermark is on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
Visit the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail website for more information.


Lake Erie, ON

Collected by

Jessica Gordon

Contributed by

Helena Ciccone

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