Citizen Science & Volunteering
What we're doing, and what you can do to help.
SCIENTISTS ON STAFF
Throughout the year Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority's scientists head out to the forests, streams, and coastal wetlands in our watershed to record specific measurable ecosystem components - preserving the stories our water and wildlife tell about the health of our watershed.
MONITORING IN OUR WATERSHED
Each ecosystem we monitor is given an annual health score making it easier to compare between similar ecosystems in different locations as well as observing changes in ecoystems over time.
The monitoring data we collect informs our understanding of the impacts of a variety of stressors (e.g. roads, industry, erosion) on our ecosystems and guides sustainable and responsible development, restoration, and management efforts. Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority collects data for our own Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program as well as the Durham Region Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project (a joint project with Environment Canada and Ganaraska Region and Toronto and Region Conservation Authorities).
All data collected since 2017, can be easily explored and visualized through our online StoryMap tool.
Citizen science is science done in partnership between scientists and any willing volunteers in the community.
Typically volunteers collect information about the natural world based on guidelines and sometimes brief training provided by the scientists. The huge amount of data collected by citizen science volunteers means that scientists are able to answer questions they otherwise could not.
Thank you for joining us in the journey!
Choose the topic that most interests you and find out how you can get involved below.
Some of the first sounds of spring are the songs of frogs and toads with each species gradually joining the chorus as spring progresses. The variety and abundance of these species-specific calls is recorded by our wildlife biologist through evening roadside surveys and has been used to help calculate the health score of our coastal wetlands. We always look forward to their annual heralding of spring.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
IDENTIFY & MONITOR FROGS
The Toronto Zoo's FrogWatch Ontario program offers a fun, easy opportunity for you to become a FrogWatcher citizen scientist by collecting information on frogs in your neighbourhood or at the cottage and submitting the data online.
The Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond program has online resources that can help you identify frogs by sight and sound! All data collected online is shared with the Natural Heritage Information Centre and the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas at Ontario Nature.