Engage. Protect. Inspire.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Swim Drink Fish Canada’s Great Lakes Challenge aims to engage the public in Great Lakes restoration like never before. Our projects will 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.

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The Great Lakes Challenge is made possible by the generosity of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Through their $1 million grant we will administer four restoration projects over the next year, transforming the way that we think about restoration and connecting people with water. 

Moving forward, The Great Lakes Challenge aims to partner with other communities to develop and execute revolutionary restoration projects changing the 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 Canada’s mission is to ensure a future where water is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for everyone.

We represent a network of 1.8-million people in communities where access to clean water is limited or threatened. 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 LOW’s work.

 

Swim Guide, the world’s most comprehensive beach information service. Since 2011, Swim Guide has nearly 1-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.


 
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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, Steward, Lake Ontairo