Canada Centre for Inland Waters
Established in 1967, the Canada Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW) located in Burlington, Ontario, accommodates over 600 staff from ECCC, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
CCIW Aquatic Contaminant and Water Hydrology and Ecology scientific staff conduct field and laboratory activities aimed at better understanding and predicting the effects of contaminants and other substances on aquatic ecosystems. The sources, fate and impacts of nutrient and other contaminant loading from agricultural, land use change and municipal wastewater are studied in sediments, groundwater and surface waters.
Analytical methods for measuring compounds of emerging concern are developed and their properties studied to inform strategies for rehabilitation and conservation of lakes and other inland waters. Scientific staff at the Centre’s state-of-the-art Aquatic Life Research Facility develop and apply novel methods for assessing toxicity of compounds and mixtures to organisms and ecological communities. Remote sensing techniques enable assessments of water clarity and the presence of algal blooms while microbial source tracking and genomic tools provide information on microbial water quality.
The Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Division reports on fresh water quality and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay Watershed basins. Through systematic measurements of physical, chemical and biological conditions, temporal changes and emerging issues can be tracked and the results of remedial measures and regulatory decisions reported.
ECCC’s National Laboratory for Environmental Testing delivers a broad range of specialized and ISO 17025 accredited chemical analysis with a specialization in trace metals and ultra-trace organics. Accredited as a proficiency testing and reference material provider, Quality Management services are delivered in direct support to ECCC programs. Supported by an ISO 17025 certified instrumentation laboratory, Technical Support personnel conduct national field sampling on land and water.
CCIW research and monitoring activities support ECCC’s obligations under the Canada Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and Fisheries Act through participation in government science programs including the Great Lakes Action Plan, the Chemicals Management Plan, the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators program, the Northern Contaminants Program and the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring.