Engage. Protect. Inspire.

The Weston Family Swim Drink Fish Great Lakes Challenge aims to engage the public in Great Lakes restoration like never before. Our projects connect people to water in new and exciting ways, creating a sense of ownership for the watershed we share. 

When a community takes ownership of their watershed they naturally feel compelled to protect the restoration efforts. The Great Lakes Challenge will ensure that these communities know exactly what they can do to protect the watershed they now know and love. 
Finally, these successful projects will inspire other Great Lakes communities to dream big for their own restoration projects ending an era of destruction on our Great Lakes and ushering in an era of restoration. This will truly be the legacy of this initiative, a network of projects inspired by a shared focus on a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future.


The Great Lakes Challenge is made possible by the generosity of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Through its financial support, the Great Lakes Challenge administers Great Lakes restoration projects, transforming the way we think about restoration and how we connect with water. 

The Great Lakes Challenge collaborates with Great Lakes communities to develop and implement revolutionary restoration projects changing your Great Lakes experience forever.


The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a Canadian charitable trust, established by Garfield and Reta Weston and their nine children in 1958. It was the belief of the founders that since it was the hard work of Canadian employees that made the Foundation possible, that its charitable funding should be directed to the benefit of Canadians. The mandate of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation includes neuroscience, land conservation, education and research in Canada’s North.


Swim Drink Fish’s mission is to ensure a future where water is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for everyone.

Swim Drink Fish represent a network of 3-million people. We teach water literacy and support grassroots efforts to combat beach closures, drinking water threats, and disappearing habitat.

Our flagship projects fuse science, culture, law and digital media:


Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a grassroots effort to document threats to the lake and intervene in key decisions; $2-billion is being spent on restoration in the wake of Waterkeeper’s work.


Swim Guide, the world’s most comprehensive beach information service. Since 2011, Swim Guide has helped over 2-million people find beaches, check water quality reports, and report pollution.


Watermark Project, a digital archive for personal stories and local knowledge about waterbodies that creates a historical record of our ever-changing relationship with water.


Your Great Lakes journey starts with Great Lakes Guide! This website is the newest initiative of Swim Drink Fish and is the key to unleashing your inner explorer. Great Lakes Guide connects you to outdoor destinations and activities across the Great Lakes.

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I have a vision of the lake where the water is clean enough to swim in, pure enough to quench your thirst and safe enough, wild enough, to toss in a line and pull out a fish to feed your family
— Gord Downie, Swim Drink Fish Ambassador (Honourary)