Lake Erie, ON - Melaina Gasbarrino
My Watermark is Lake Erie, Ontario.
Ever since I can remember, we have always been out on the water. When we were little, we would go fishing with my grandpa - the day turned into learning how to fish then heading back to my grandparents house for lunch, those were some of the best days. As a family we've always traveled to far away places to enjoy the sweet ocean water, and I believe this is what has drawn me to the lakes.
Our travels may have taken us far, but fresh water is in my blood. Whether it'd be stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or swimming on The Niagara River, or cleaning up our beaches across The Niagara Region, I find solace along the shore. For the past 3+ years I've hosted Beach Clean-Ups in The Niagara Region through my environmental education company Sustainably Ours.
Over the course of those years, we've picked up tons of garbage, and we're always amazed at just what you can find on a beach clean-up. One of my favourite memories from one of our cleanups was when I had finished cleaning up, a man on a bicycle came up to me and said 'you do good work miss'; it's moments like this that you know that people actually care about preserving our shorelines.
Most recently, I have learned to surf on the lakes with Surf The Greats, and can feel the water through my veins. My parents have always told me I was born to live along the shore, and nowadays the majestic nature of The Greats draws me to continue to live in Ontario. It's the beauty of the shoreline that we need to continue to preserve to ensure our children's children find clean, drinkable, fishable, beautiful water in our own backyard.