Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Be Bayfield citizen scientist

Be a citizen scientist in Bayfield.

Local conservation authority issues call for volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ in Bayfield area

Ausable Bayfield Conservation asks for your help to monitor water quality along beach in Bayfield  

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is asking for your help to monitor water quality along the beach in Bayfield. Since 2014, people from the Bayfield community have volunteered as ‘citizen scientists.’ These volunteers have collected water samples each summer for the Bayfield Beach Stormwater Monitoring Program. Information gathered from this program helps in determining whether stormwater from the village of Bayfield might be having an impact on nearshore water quality. Monitoring also helps to ensure the Bayfield Main Beach maintains its internationally-recognized Blue Flag status.     

Water samples are collected from three stormwater outlets every two weeks, and following heavy rains.  Citizen scientists check their rain gauges at their homes to determine whether they need to collect samples.  Samples are then analyzed for concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and phosphorus. The program runs from the beginning of June to the end of August with volunteers sharing shifts throughout the summer. “It would be ideal to collect samples like this throughout the watershed, but logistically that type of monitoring is very difficult to do,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “Without the volunteers, this program would simply not exist,” she said.      

Citizen scientists are people who are interested in the world around them and want to contribute to understanding it better. By participating in a program such as this, people further the advancement of science, and play a role in managing their natural resources.

“I have been passionately interested in the environment and especially water quality for many years,” said Sandy Scotchmer, a Bayfield resident who has been involved since 2014.  “I am very fortunate to be able to participate in this program, as I feel I am working on a process of data gathering that will lead to a more positive understanding of urban and rural issues in our mutual quest for clean water reaching our beaches in the area,” she said.

If you are interested in learning more, or volunteering for this program, please contact Hope Brock, Ausable Bayfield Conservation, at 519-235-2610 or email

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