#ygkChallenge: Stroll and patrol your shoreline

ygkchallenge, Kingston's shoreline, OntarioThe #ygkChallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.

This week’s #ygkChallenge encourages you to:

Stroll and patrol your shoreline. Kingston, you’ve worked hard to reclaim access to your shoreline. Today you have a beautiful 7.7km stretch of waterfront that’s celebrated year round with swimming, paddling, boating – and skating! And there are more revitalization plans in the works. But beyond recreational use, it’s so important to visit your shoreline.

History has shown it’s not enough to assume that someone else is protecting your waterway for you, especially if no one seems to be watching. In 2005, a Wolfe Island resident noticed condoms and syringes floating in the water. Colin Mosier knew the shoreline well and recognized this was a problem. Concerned about the safety of his family and community, Colin reported what he found to officials. Finding it hard to get help, Colin reached out to his friend at Waterkeeper, Mark Mattson. His swift action proved that Kingston sewage bypasses were polluting the Wolfe Island shoreline. That laid the foundation for a legal challenge by Waterkeeper and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Today, the City of Kingston proactively notifies the public and neighbouring municipalities whenever there’s a sewage bypass. By checking the city’s sewage bypass log, Kingston’s recreational water users know when it’s safe to go in the water and when it’s not.

It has been a rainy, bypass-rich spring, so, we challenge you to go for a stroll and patrol your shoreline! Get to know the waters that meet you at the edge of the city. Embrace its beauty. And if you spot something concerning like Colin did, report it to us. We’re happy to follow up with you and find out what’s going on. That’s what we do!

Kingston’s shoreline is precious and valuable. And it needs your help to keep it safe and healthy. Enjoy the challenge!

Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.
Submitted to Kingstonist’s Community Soapbox by Ruby Pajares for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Find out more about Waterkeeper’s efforts to protect your Lake Ontario here. Photo Credit to Adam De Rocco.

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