Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

The 2023 VAST Beach Blitz Was a Success!

Congratulations to the winners of our VAST Beach Blitz! These community scientists have been dedicated volunteers, monitoring nuisance algae and other coastal stressors on the Great Lakes!

Left: Mike Pressacco

  • Waverly Beach, Fort Erie
  • Further congratulations on submitting over 100 surveys!

Top Right: Bryan Kuypers

  • Morgan's Point Conservation Area, Wainfleet

Bottom Right: Kassie Burns

  • Jones Beach, St. Catharines

A special thank you to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for donating rewards for the Beach Blitz.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the blitz and helped us reach 1,000 VAST surveys! Watch the video below to follow along with our journey to 1,000.

Click the button below to explore the images and conditions across the Great Lakes.

Explore VAST

Life in Plastic, Definitely Not Fantastic

NEW Factsheet!

Plastic pollution is a significant concern for the Great Lakes. Recent research estimates that over 10,000 metric tons of plastic waste enter the Great Lakes EACH YEAR!

Click the link below to learn more about how plastic is impacting our water quality.

Plastic Pollution Factsheet

Microplastics in the Lakes - Great Lakes Now Video

Article: Great Lakes microplastics concentrations exceed safe levels for wildlife

"We do not fully grasp the consequences of plastic pollution... you cannot recycle ourselves out of this situation, the solution of this is reduction. - Dr. Sherri Mason

Microplastics in the Lakes - Great Lakes Now

Monitor Plastic Pollution on the Great Lakes with VAST!

Help identify actions to eliminate plastic pollution and littering.

Get Started!

Curious about coastal issues and want to learn more? Visit our Coastal Academy to read factsheets and other helpful resources!

Visit the Coastal Academy

In Other News...

Province partners with local organizations to clean-up, restore health of shorelines in Niagara

Brock researchers analyzing toxic algae blooms in local waterway

Why is blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) becoming more prominent?

Great Books about the Great Lakes

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes - Dan Egan, 2017

Web Overview - "The Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior—hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work, and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent."

The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance - Dan Egan, 2023

Web Overview - "Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people...our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond."


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