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Is your sunny getaway harming the beaches you love?
February 27, 2015

For most North Americans, including us here at the snowy Swim Guide headquarters in Toronto, a mid-winter seaside vacation is irresistible.

Taking a trip to somewhere warm and salty is very popular, especially with people from temperate countries (Travel Weekly reported that in 2013 alone, the Caribbean welcomed more than 25 million visitors). It should come as no surprise that tourism makes up a huge percentage of the economies in tropical areas.

But how do we help ensure that our travels do not result in significant and irreversible damage to the swimmable, drinkable, fishable water at our vacation spot? Local populations need clean water to drink, to swim, and to fish. As guests it is important we understand local water concerns and minimize our negative impact on the marine environment.

Leading up to March Break we will be publishing a Swim, Drink, Fish series. Each piece will provide you with helpful hints to ensure your winter getaway respects and protects swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.

This week’s topic: SWIMMING


Swim Guide has a Valentine’s Day request for you
February 4, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, Swim Guide wants to hear you say “I love you” to the one.

To the one who is full of life.

To the one that makes you happy every time you look at her.

To the one who is always up for an adventure.

To the one who never stops giving.

To the one your family, your friends, your pets, and your plants rely on every day.

To the one who sustains you.

To the one who shapes you and makes you who you are.

To the one you literally can’t live without.

This Valentine’s Day, say “I love you,” to the water in your life.

Show your love

Tweet and share your love of the water in your life


#loveyourwatershed #valentinesday #swimdrinkfish #Ilovewater


We Don’t Swim in the Toilet, Please Don’t Pee in the Pool: The Permanent Connection Between Pool Water Quality and Our Personal Hygiene
January 28, 2015

After learning about the possibility of contracting illnesses and infections from a trip to the beach, many people ask us whether it is simply “safer” to swim in pools.

While Swim Guide’s expertise lies in untreated recreational water, such marine and freshwater beaches, lakes, rivers, and ponds, we do know that the majority of reported recreational water illnesses are in fact contracted from pools and other treated water.

Not to worry. In order to provide you with the tools you need to stay healthy at the pool we turned to the experts: The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and their Healthy Swimming program.

The CDC has incredible and fascinating (and at times disgusting) information about treated water quality that everyone should know in order to keep themselves and their fellow bathers healthy in the pool.


Introducing Surfrider Vancouver Island
January 19, 2015

This week we are welcoming the Surfrider Foundation’s Vancouver Island Chapter to Swim Guide.

Folks, this is big and this is special. We are so lucky to have incredible water leaders like Surfrider volunteers joining our affiliates’ program.

Photo credit: Kenny Louie, Calling it a Day

Photo credit: Kenny Louie, Calling it a Day


Surfing and Water Quality in the Winter
January 14, 2015

Frances Maas RECE Follow Winter Surfers-Lake Ontario

Photo credit: Tomasz Wagner
Winter Surfers-Tofino

For most people interaction with open water during the winter months is limited to icy thrill of a New Year’s Day Polar Bear plunge. But surfers, as you can imagine, are perpetually the last ones out of the water. And even as we turn on our cars from inside our homes and put on our goose down coats and fur lined boots to fetch the morning paper they’re still out there, playing in the water.

“Hard core” does not come close to describing winter surfing. In fact, while researching this article (second hand) every single reference concluded that winter surfers are lunatics. Magnificent, hearty lunatics.