Niagara River Ecosystem Indicator Status Change

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A recent assessment report indicates that all water quality and remediation goals have been met!

Partners working together to improve the Niagara River's water quality and ecosystem health are pleased to share that recent actions have improved the conditions at Queen's Royal Beach.

In a joint effort with the Town of Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) and other Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) partners, we are seeking your input on the recommendation to change the status of the RAP's indicator to show water quality in the Niagara River is improved.

This is a tremendous milestone on our journey to restore water quality and ecosystem health of the Niagara River, and remove it from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Your participation and feedback are greatly appreciated. Scroll down for tools to help you get involved!

Watch this short video for a full summary of issues and findings.


Thanks to the following RAP partners that made this project possible: Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Niagara Region, and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

A recent assessment report indicates that all water quality and remediation goals have been met!

Partners working together to improve the Niagara River's water quality and ecosystem health are pleased to share that recent actions have improved the conditions at Queen's Royal Beach.

In a joint effort with the Town of Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) and other Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) partners, we are seeking your input on the recommendation to change the status of the RAP's indicator to show water quality in the Niagara River is improved.

This is a tremendous milestone on our journey to restore water quality and ecosystem health of the Niagara River, and remove it from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Your participation and feedback are greatly appreciated. Scroll down for tools to help you get involved!

Watch this short video for a full summary of issues and findings.


Thanks to the following RAP partners that made this project possible: Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Niagara Region, and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

Frequently Asked Questions & More

We welcome you to ask us a question! This may be in relation to the Assessment Report, beach monitoring, Remedial Action Plan program, or Niagara River ecosystem. 


Before you ask your question, kindly review the existing FAQs below as you may find your answer there.

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    Where is this beach located?

    6 months ago

    Queen's Royal Beach is in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario at the foot of King Street. It is the only public swimming beach on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Click here for a Google Map

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    Is there anywhere else I can swim in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake?

    6 months ago

    No, Queen’s Royal Beach is currently the only public swimming location in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

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    Can I swim anywhere else along the Niagara River?

    6 months ago

    No, there are no other public swimming beaches on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. The Niagara Region offers many other places for swimming in the summer months. 

    Visit: https://www.niagararegion.ca/living/water/beaches/default.aspx to find places where you can swim. 

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    What were the problems at Queen’s Royal Beach?

    6 months ago

    Past monitoring showed that there were problems with E. coli bacteria pollution from a nearby storm outfall which led to frequent beach postings, limiting its use for swimming and other recreational activities. 

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    What were the sources of bacteria at the beach and how do you know where they were coming from?

    6 months ago

    Bacteria can come from natural sources (like from birds and wildlife, or from sand stirred up in waves/windy conditions) or from human sources like sewer pipes. 


    Scientific track-down studies were completed that indicated the main source of high amounts of E. coli bacteria was the King Street Storm Outlet near the beach and some low levels from the Niagara River upstream sources. 

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    What has been done to improve this beach?

    6 months ago

    Since 2010, partners involved in the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) initiative (such as the NPCA, Town of NOTL, Niagara Region, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks) have worked together to track-down and solve the main issues affecting beach water quality. A detailed report is available here. 


    The Town prioritized a lot of different actions to reduce the bacteria that was getting into the storm sewers. For example:  

    • racoon grates were installed at the storm outlet and throughout the sewer catchment area to prevent wildlife from getting in; 
    • sewers that were cracked, not connected properly, or misaligned were repaired;  
    • a small wading pool was disconnected from the storm sewer and connected to the sanitary line so that its water would go to a treatment plant instead of the Niagara River; 
    • a low impact development bioswale was constructed in Simcoe Park to clean and filter storm water before it enters the storm system and is released to the Niagara River; 
    • Other new technologies like sewer sponges that trap bacteria from the road runoff (e.g., from dog or horse waste) were installed.  
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    Why did the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake take on this remediation work?

    6 months ago

    The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake recognizes the importance of protecting the beach and waterfront for its community because it contributes to local outdoor activities, the health and safety of people & environment, and contributes to tourism and the local economy.

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    How do you know that that the remediation activities have worked?

    6 months ago

    Prior to 2018, before any remediation activities were implemented, only 44-75% of water samples met the water quality guidelines what the Town has completed all these important actions, over 80% samples collected from 2018-2020 consistently met the water quality guideline for safe swimming. That means the beach water is a lot cleaner than it used to be! 

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    How do I know if it’s safe to swim in the waters in Queen’s Royal Beach?

    6 months ago

    The water at Queen’s Royal Beach is swimmable when it meets the Provincial Recreational Water Quality Guideline using E. coli bacteria as the indicatorThe Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake collects water samples at this beach 3 times per week from May (Victoria Day) through September (Labour Day). With technical support from the Niagara Region Public Health Unit, samples are analyzed and results are posted on its website to alert beachgoers if it’s safe to swim or not.

    Check https://www.niagararegion.ca/living/water/beaches/default.aspx for the latest information. 

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    What does it mean to have the status of this environmental indicator changed to Not Impaired?

    6 months ago

    Removing the remaining impaired environmental indicators means the Niagara River is improving! 

     

    If there is support for changing the status of this Niagara River ecosystem indicator related to beach water quality, the RAP Team will have reached another tremendous milestone on the journey to remove the Niagara River from the list of Great Lakes' Areas of Concern.  

Page last updated: 09 August 2021, 15:56