WWEW has three established goals in order to achieve this vision:
What We Monitor
At this time, Woodlands & Waterways EcoWatch has three main focuses: benthic macro-invertebrates and forest health and water quality.
What are they?
Benthic macro-invertebrates, colloquially referred to as “benthics” or “benthos”, are small, spineless organisms that live on the bottom of water bodies such as lakes or rivers.
Why are they important?
Benthos spend part of or their entire lives in the water. Due to this long-term contact with the water that surrounds them, we can look at which groups are present to make inferences about the health of the
ecosystems they inhabit.
Where do you find them?
Benthos are found on the bottoms of many bodies of water ranging from the massive Great Lakes to small ponds. We collect our benthos from along the shores of lakes in the Haliburton region.
How do we assess forest health?
We assess forest health by looking at a number of factors including tree species, individual tree health, and tree growth rates. We make these measurements every 5 years to help track changes as the forest develops.
What trends are you hoping to track?
One of the main concerns we have is the impact that climate change is having on our amazing forests. This is one of the most critical things for us to keep track of in our region but will take place over a long stretch of time.
Where are your sites located?
Currently our sites are being established on Haliburton Highlands Land Trust properties. You can see where the vast majority of our sites are below (some are hidden due to privacy concerns).
Who are our partners?
As of 2023 our partners include 10 Lake Associations across 24 lakes totaling 35 sample locations.
What is the purpose of water quality sampling?
With the ongoing monitoring of physical and chemical properties our water quality program serves to identify and mitigate hazards early before irreversible changes can take hold.
Who can access our data?
All of the data collected throughout our water quality program is made publicly available through DataStream via The Gordon Foundation.
Our Current Project Locations