What is citizen science?
Citizen science is the practice of incorporating members of the public to collect data which can be used to increase scientific knowledge. It is a method that is widely used in various environmental monitoring projects/ programs such as water quality, frog and amphibian surveys, bird surveys and many other applications.
Current citizen science programs
The Kawartha Water Watch program is a citizen science program which has been active for the past 20 years. It was implemented to increase our scientific capacity and collect samples from various areas across our 2600km2 jurisdiction. Data is used from this program and applied to reports such as the watershed report card.
The citizen science nearshore water quality monitoring project has been ongoing since 2017. It started on Lake Scugog with 12 citizen scientists and on Sturgeon Lake with 25 citizen scientists. This year with the help of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology it will expand and include all five lakes within Kawartha Conservation’s jurisdiction by adding Pigeon, Cameron and Balsam Lakes.
The nearshore areas of these lakes were not studied during the lake management plan process and were considered to be a data gap. In order to understand lake health better it is important to include all aspects of the lake including the nearshore.
The objectives of the nearshore study are:
- Obtain a data baseline for near shore areas
- Compare with open water data
- Educate and encourage stewardship