The Watermark Project is a community effort to collect and archive true stories about the ways people interact with water. An initiative of Swim Drink Fish, the Watermark Project began in 2015 and 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. Your story can be a memory, experience or moment about a time you connected with a body of water.

Whatever your story may be, your Watermark connects you to a shared water heritage. Whether spoken, written, filmed, or illustrated, every Watermark has the same five characteristics:

  • A person
  • A waterbody
  • A specific time (date, era)
  • A location where it took place (town, park, beach, etc.)
  • A description or narrative of a personal story of how a waterbody impacted or became significant to you.

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

When you contribute your Watermark, you help to document and protect the waterbody that is important to you and your community. 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 water stories that provide a unique window into how we and our communities are influenced by water.

It is also a powerful tool that will help protect the waterbodies we care about, in the future. 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 Volta, Ghana
Isaac Nyameke
Lake Superior, USA
Nancy Langston
Niagara River, USA
Es Jimenez
Lake Ontario, ON
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, OC, OOnt
Ottawa River, ON
Catherine McKenna
Lake Ontario, ON
Gord Downie