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Home > How Can I Help Protect Our Water Ecosystems? > Citizen Science

How can I help protect our water ecosystems?
Citizen Science

Citizen science involves people as volunteers who help scientists by collecting information about the environment.

It's as easy as using your eyes and ears to track changes in nature. And, you can learn about the environment while gathering the information. Your information will help scientists and governments monitor and protect ecosystems.

Three teenagers standing in a shallow creek and sampling macroinvertebrates using a net.

These teenagers are participating in the Adopt a River programme. They are taking samples of macroinvertebrates from a creek in Quebec. The sampling will help determine the health of the water.

Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network

A bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana)

The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network of Environment Canada is a citizen-science group.

Its NatureWatch programme proposes four subjects for observation:



Ice and water along shore.

Thaw at Manitoba Lake, Manitoba.



  • By taking samples of earthworms, you can help scientists to find out how many species of earthworms are in Canada, and where they live.
  • The research results help researchers follow ecological changes that may harm the environment.

Citizen Science Network

The Citizen Science Network is a project of Wildlife Habitat Canada. As a "citizen scientist", you can volunteer to collect data from your community or watershed about water quality, biodiversity and other topics. The network shares the information you collect with people who make decisions that affect the environment.

On the Citizen Science Network web site, you can:

  • find volunteer opportunities
  • look at monitoring tools
  • find equipment for use in sampling.

A group of people near a riverbank.

A group of citizens evaluate the health of the banks along an Alberta river.

The web site also has a list of projects from across Canada. You can join a group that is testing streams for water quality. Or, perhaps adopt a river, stream or pond. You can search for projects in different kinds of aquatic ecosystems and on specific topics:

  • fresh water
  • groundwater
  • marine
  • ice
  • water quality
  • watershed protection.


Join a Club!

How can you help protect water resources and ecosystems? Here's a list of major Canadian clubs involved with water. Join one!

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

The Council of Canadians—Water Campaign

David Suzuki Foundation

Earth Day Canada

Friends of the Earth Canada

Greenpeace Canada

The Nature Conservancy

Pollution Probe

Sierra Youth Coalition


How Can I Help Protect Our
Water Ecosystems?
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