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You crossed your fingers all week and it paid off. It’s a perfect beach weekend! But as you spread your towel and head down to the water you notice that the shoreline seems… icky. Is it really safe to take a dip?
Now, there’s an app for that. Vancouver conservation NGO Fraser Riverkeeper and Toronto’s Lake Ontario Waterkeeper have developed a new app that helps users find out if local water bodies are currently safe for swimming. The app, called Swim Guide, uses GPS technology to locate local beaches, lakes and surf spots and provides photos and descriptions. It also shows a colour-coded cleanliness status, which is sourced from over 100 water monitoring agencies across North America.
A new feature in Swim Guide 2.0 also provides users with a “dead-fish icon” to report on pollution and water-quality issues that they observe while on the beach, which encourages local stewardship.
“Every year, millions of people get sick from coming into contact with polluted water at their local beaches,” said Pete Nichols, Western Director for the Waterkeeper Alliance. “The Swim Guide provides a free, easy-to-use way for beach goers to find a beach where their families can swim and enjoy the beach safely.”
Swim Guide is available from the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Theswimguide.org.