The Watermark Project is a community effort to collect and archive true stories about the ways people interact with water. Started by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper in 2015, the Watermark Project aims to collect one story from every Canadian household.

What is a Watermark?

A Watermark is a true story about you and a body of water. Whatever your story may be, your Watermark connects you to a shared water heritage.

A Watermark describes a memory of time spent near water or the way a body of water has shaped your life. Whether spoken, written, filmed, or illustrated, every Watermark has the same four characteristics:

  • A person
  • A waterbody
  • A specific time (date, era)
  • A description or narrative explaining that waterbody affected that person during that moment or time of life.

Watermarks are filed in the archive. They create a living record of our powerful connection.

When you archive your Watermark, you help protect your water heritage. Thank you.


We work with a handful of partners who manage the Watermark Project in specific regions. We also train and support an unlimited number of Collectors who gather Watermarks from their communities.

Founding Supporters

Register your Watermark, protect your waterbody

The Watermark Project is an ever-growing tapestry of Canadian water stories that provides a unique window on our way of life.

It is also a powerful tool that will help protect waterbodies in the future. Here's how:

  • When you contribute a story to the archive, you register the waterbody in a national database of important waters.
  • You document the value of that waterbody to you and your community.
  • You help researchers identify waters where people swim, drink, or fish, so that those uses can be protected in the future.
  • You provide evidence that ensures environmental laws can be used to safeguard your waters.

Browse Watermarks

Lake Superior, USA
Nancy Langston
Niagara River, USA
Es Jimenez
Lake Ontario, ON
Karen Chisholme
Capilano River, BC
Carolyn Lee
Lake Ontario, ON
Collin Mosier
St. Lawrence River, ON
Kristine Schumacher