My waterbody is Lake Ontario. I grew up in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario and I've been playing it ever since I was a kid. I can remember from a very young age climbing down the bluffs in Scarborough and playing on the shores of Lake Ontario and actually having to climb over discarded tires and scrap pieces of metal to get to the water so that we could play in the water. And I remember being very confused as a kid about why I shouldn’t go swimming in Lake Ontario but I could go swimming in other lakes that I visited. I loved to swim, I loved to play in the water and I remember just being very young and accepting that that was something that I wasn’t supposed to do. You could swim in other places, you didn’t swim in Lake Ontario. The way that I try to help Lake Ontario now is through my work in restoration and environmental protection and I think that by protecting natural habitat on the land we help the protect the water at the same time and so it’s been really encouraging for me over the past few years to see all of the strides that we’ve made forward in terms protecting headwaters, protecting river systems that flow into Lake Ontario, and really seeing a lot of benefits of that work come in terms people who now grow up and regularly swim in Lake Ontario. So that’s wonderful to see.
My name is Leigh Paulseth and I work with Friends of the Rogue watershed.