WWEW has three established goals in order to achieve this vision:
Continue Research to Fill the Data Gap
Continue the research, sampling, reporting, and data collection system U-Links developed through the Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomonitoring Program to help fill the lake and forest health gap in the Haliburton region.
Get the Community Involved
Implement a Community Based Monitoring (CBM) model for lakes and forests in the Haliburton region, training citizen scientists interested in monitoring their local environments in an effort to build local capacity
Ensure Data is Being Used for Decision Making
Make sure that we are monitoring facets of the environment that allow local decision makers to implement policies with measurable impacts. This means ensuring the data is publicly available and easily accessible to anyone who wishes to use it.
What are they?
Benthic macro-invertebrates, colloquially referred to as “benthics” or “benthos”, are small, spineless organisms that live on the bottom of water bodies such as lakes or rivers.
Why are they important?
Benthos spend part of or their entire lives in the water. Due to this long-term contact with the water that surrounds them, we can look at which groups are present to make inferences about the health of the ecosystems they inhabit.
Where do you find them?
Benthos are found on the bottoms of many bodies of water ranging from the massive Great Lakes to small ponds. We collect our benthos from along the shores of lakes in the Haliburton region.
How do we assess forest health?
We assess forest health by looking at a number of factors including tree species, individual tree health, and tree growth rates. We make these measurements every 5 years to help track changes as the forest develops.
What trends are you hoping to track?
One of the main concerns we have is the impact that climate change is having on our amazing forests. This is one of the most critical things for us to keep track of in our region but will take place over a long stretch of time.
Where are your sites located?
Currently our sites are being established on Haliburton Highlands Land Trust properties. You can see where the vast majority of our sites are below (some are hidden due to privacy concerns).