Blog

, Swim Guide Editor
Posted: July 11, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Swim Guide was created in Toronto, Canada by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. “Is it safe to swim in Lake Ontario?” was the most common question we received from the public. We soon discovered reliable facts and figures about current recreational water quality were hard to come by. So we started compiling our own. In 2011, the Swim Guide website and app were launched.

We very quickly realized that Swim Guide would be a better service if we shared it with others. Our very first partner – Fraser Riverkeeper – was with us through the launch process and brought Swim Guide to British Columbia right away. They were shortly followed by Affiliates in Alberta, Ottawa, and Miami.

Fraser Riverkeeper was the first Swim Guide Affiliate. Photo by gcD600 on Flickr.

Affiliates help Swim Guide dive into new waters

Swim Guide quickly grew because as it turns out people everywhere have a hard time knowing whether the water is clean enough to swim in. Beaches are cherished places. People want to be informed and they want to know where it’s safe to jump in. Swim Guide helped with just that, by providing current, easy-to-understand and accessible information about recreational water quality.

As Swim Guide continued to grow, more and more dedicated groups started to contribute current water quality. These “Affiliates” help maintain Swim Guide and provide the public with up-to-date recreational water quality information. Swim Guide Affiliates also run their own water quality monitoring programs. Without their data, we would not know the water quality at many great beaches and swimming spots.

Photo by Travel Manitoba

In short, without our Affiliates, Swim Guide would not be Swim Guide.

How Swim Guide Affiliates help

The Swim Guide Affiliate Program currently includes organizations with a shared desire for swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways. Our Affiliates are nonprofit and public organizations, environmental and conservation groups, community associations, state environmental services, educational institutions, and clean energy companies. These Affiliates help monitor thousands of beaches in Canada, the US, New Zealand and Mexico by updating Swim Guide every day with the most current water quality data.

Through our Affiliates program, we offer training and support services to leaders who are looking for a way to share water quality data with their community, highlight clean swimming areas, or raise awareness about chronic water quality problems. Affiliates also use Swim Guide to protect public health, build support for remediation programs, develop their own local engagement programs, and raise money for their own recreational water protection work.

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Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.| See Legal.

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