My Watermark is Lake Ontario.
I am a water quality monitoring scientist at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters, which is out in Burlington, Ontario. I am the lead scientist for the Great Lakes Surveillance Program, which is the long-term water quality monitoring program on the Great Lakes. It's run out of Environment and Climate Change Canada at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario.
I was always around water when I was growing up. I'm a Toronto girl and we used the Toronto waterfront quite a bit. Also, I remember an 'aha' moment being up north and just witnessing the beauty of the inland lakes that we have in Ontario; just spectacular.
One of my favourite areas of the Great Lakes are pretty much any beach. Also, I love walking the Bruce Trail up on Lake Huron; absolutely gorgeous scenery. And then, this is something not many people get to experience, but I love being out on the water itself. There's a few spots on the Great Lakes, including on Lake Ontario actually, where, when you're out on a ship and you're in the middle of the lake, there's places where you can't see shore in any direction. That's just an amazing feeling of openness and natural wonder. It's really nice.
We are apart of a natural environment – I think people forget that. Perhaps people who live close to and interact with the Great Lakes on a daily basis, they see it more. But I think for us in an urban environment potentially, or people a little distance off the shores, they don't think about it; they don't think about the interaction and the interdependency that we really have with the environment. We're part of this system: we rely on the Great Lakes as a fresh source of drinking water, we rely on the fish, we rely on it for irrigation water in a lot of cases, we rely on the shipping, it brings us our goods. We really need to care about the water quality because we rely on it.