Benthic monitoring involves the study of the presence and abundance of bugs that live on the bottom of waterbodies. Benthos (water bugs) serve as an excellent early warning of threats to water quality, as they are greatly impacted by relatively small changes within their environment.
Monitoring terrestrial ecosystems is beneficial for long-term trend identification and overall ecosystem health assessments.
NatureWatch programs monitor local change in natural systems in order to understand broader climatic and ecosystem changes.
The Muskoka Watershed Council has worked with local lake associations and scientists to prepare a bacteria monitoring protocol for use by lake associations. When a lake does not want to use an accredited lab to analyze water for E. coli and total coliform, a home test kit called a 'coliplate' can be used. This method will give a reliable estimate of any bacteria contamination.
Invading Species Hotline: 1-800-563-7711
Invading species are one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of Ontario's waters, wetlands and woodlands. Originating from other regions of the world, and in the absence of their natural predators or controls, invading species can have devastating effects on native species, habitats and ecosystems.
Invading Species Watch is a free volunteer-based lake monitoring program for aquatic invading species. It is an initiative of the Invading Species Awareness Program, which is a partnership between the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Bird Studies Canada has a variety of volunteer based programs that provide information on the changing environment
The Toronto Zoo supports two monitoring programs that study ponds and wetlands.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), through the Lake Partner Program, supports lake associations in their lake monitoring programs by sponsoring a clarity (Secchi disk) and phosphorus testing program.