Become a Monthly Donor and Help CWF Make a Difference for Our Rivers and Oceans
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is committed to understanding the extent to which plastics are infiltrating our waterways, as well as how they are affecting the wildlife that live there. We need your help to make a difference for these wildlife species and others like them!
Water — Canada's Greatest Resource
With over 202,000 km of coastline along three oceans and 891,163 square kilometres of its total area covered by fresh water, Canada is a nation defined by its connection to water. Unfortunately, those waters are under threat from a growing environmental concern: microplastics.
Microplastics are small plastic particles now being found in Canadian waters at an alarming rate, the harmful effects of which are not yet fully understood by science. One form of microplastics known as microbeads are becoming a significant concern due to their miniscule size and growing abundance. Regularly found in our lakes, rivers and oceans, these microbeads are compromising the habitat and food sources of not only Canadian species, but also the precious water systems that supply our drinking water. The Government of Canada has taken an important first step by recently adding microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; however, there are still many other sources of microplastics polluting our waters. In fact, in a recent study researchers found microplastics in every sample that was taken near shore areas along both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Why should you care?
SEARCHING FOR MICROPLASTICS IN THE GREAT LAKES
CWF joined the team of researchers at eXXpedition Great Lakes 2016 to participate in the largest water sampling initiative ever conducted on the Great Lakes. We launched August 20 from Toronto to conduct sampling for microplastics in Lake Ontario, all part of large-scale international initiative to determine the extent of microplastics pollution in our waters. Watch a video of the sampling system being deployed, check out the photo gallery, or listen to the interview with CWF Senior Conservation Biologist Nick LaPointe
You can also get involved. Be a Citizen Scientist and contribute to this global microplastics study wherever you are. Visit exxpedition.com/greatlakes2016 for more information. Help us raise awareness of this emerging eco-threat. And share your experiences using the hashtags #FindingPlastic and #LoveYourGreats.
Do you live or vacation on or near a body of water? Do you enjoy recreational activities on or in the water? Do you eat fresh fish taken from Canadian waters? Do you like seeing wildlife like loons and otters frolicking in waters near the cottage? If so, your level enjoyment around the water could be adversely affected.
Microplastics such as microbeads have a big impact on our water. Microbeads can become coated in toxins which when digested are harmful to fish and aquatic wildlife. Once these toxins are introduced into our food chain the impact is potentially catastrophic. We don’t yet know what the long time impacts are to wildlife – or to human life.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation has always found strength in its supporters
As a result, we need to hear from you. We are actively involved in research and education around this issue, but we want your take on the matter! Please take the time to complete the survey below. And add your name to the national petition calling for the Government of Canada to invest immediately in science and research to determine the impact of microplastic pollution of our waters and to address the other sources of microplastics that continue to pollute our lakes, rivers and oceans. We will take this petition to the Government when Parliament resumes.
Current CWF projects around the issue of microplastics include:
- NEWS :: Plastic microbeads will be banned in Canada, effective mid-2018
- NEWS :: IJC seeks input on binational approach to address microplastic pollution entering the Great Lakes
- NEWS :: Microfibers in our laundry
- CBC :: Scientists find 'troubling' levels of microplastics polluting Ottawa River
- RADIO :: interview with CWF Senior Conservation Biologist Nick LaPointe
- CBC :: Researchers tag 3,000 shellfish to study microplastics in B.C. waters
- CBC :: More microplastic research, regulation needed says wildlife federation
- NEWS :: Banning Microbeads from cosmetics not enough
- SOCIAL :: #loveyourgreats and #eXXpeditionGreatLakes
- VIDEO :: Talking Trash
- Partnering with McGill University on research to understand the impacts of microplastics on wildlife and habitat
- Working with non-governmental and government agencies and organizations to develop a long-term national strategy for fish habitat conservation
- Supporting the work of marine rescue organizations who respond when marine animals are in danger for a variety of reasons including being stranded on beaches or entangled in fishing gear or plastic waste
- Educating youth through our Healthy Waters program about the impact of microplastics
- Conducting shoreline assessment to determine water health through our Love Your Lake program