The Dorset monitoring programs focus on headwater lakes and streams located in south-central Ontario felt to be representative of the tens of thousands of small sensitive lakes and streams on the Canadian Shield. The monitoring of water quality and quantity, and phytoplankton and zooplankton communities began in the mid 1970s. Bio-monitoring activities have expanded since to include both benthic invertebrates and crayfish.
The Lake Partner Program is a volunteer-based program that provides nutrient (total phosphorus) and water clarity information for Ontario’s inland lakes. More than 600 lakes are monitored annually by volunteers. Run in partnership with the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations the program grew out of the Self Help program which had been collecting chlorophyll and water clarity information since the early 1970s.
The Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN) measures aquatic ecosystem condition in lakes, streams and wetlands using bottom-dwelling aquatic invertebrates as indicators. The program was initiated in 2003. Since that time, many hundreds of stream and lake sites have been sampled. The Network includes a Protocol Manual of standardized sampling methods, a program of training and certification for its members, and a centralized database for storing, retrieving, and sharing data.
The Water Chemistry Laboratory at DESC provides laboratory support and expertise in soft water, low nutrient analyses for programs both within the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and with our partners. Aquatic samples may find their origin in lakes, streams, precipitation and groundwater systems.