Our Actions and Goals

SDG 14: Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development
14. Life Below Water

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

Understanding our rivers and lakes

Our state-of-the-art Coastal Engineering Lab is the largest hydraulics laboratory in Canada. It is also one of the premier facilities for fundamental and applied research and education on a broad range of water issues, and especially in the fields of river engineering, lake dynamics, coastal engineering, water supply systems, and landslides.

Maintain local ecosystems and their biodiversity

Located on the shore of scenic Lake Ontario and adjacent to the wetland-rich UNESCO world biosphere reserve of the Frontenac Arch, Queen’s University is ideally situated for research into freshwater ecology. The members of our Freshwater Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Research Group conduct exciting research in wide array of topics including zooplankton ecology, population biology, ecotoxicology, paleolimnology, invasive species, fish physiology, and reproductive biology.

Our Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL), co-led by Dr. John Smol, former Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, monitors inland aquatic systems using paleolimnology – a multidisciplinary science that uses physical, chemical, and biological information preserved in sediment profiles – to reconstruct past environmental conditions.

[Queen's Art of Research photo: Vulnerable by Matthew Duda]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Vulnerable by Matthew Duda, PhD Student (Biology), Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cross-border collaborative research

A number of Queen's faculty members are part of the Great Lakes Research Consortium. The group, which includes 18 universities in New York and Ontario, are conducting research to improve the understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Teaching and student life

Developing future leaders

LEADERS-CREATE is an NSERC-funded graduate program at Queen’s to educate future leaders in water and watershed sustainability. Students engage with leading experts and researchers with an interdisciplinary focus on knowledge mobilization and training related to policy, risk assessment, and integrated management of watersheds.

Field studies

The Kennedy Field Station (KFS) is a multi-use, watershed facility located in Eastern Ontario on the Salmon River, an important tributary to the Great Lakes. Managed by the Department of Civil Engineering, it serves as an important research centre for our students and as an outreach tool for the university and our partner organizations.


Understanding how clean water affects human health

Water has a direct impact on the sustainability of communities. Our Graduate Diploma in Water and Human Health, offered through the Beaty Water Research Centre, teaches students to critically evaluate water issues, and identify key aspects of concern to human health. It also explores water regulations and policies around the globe.

Community impact

Spreading the word about the importance of clean water

The Beaty Water Research Centre (BWRC) Great Lakes Water Festival is an annual awareness event that engages hundreds of grade four students from the community in activities that demonstrate the critical importance of water in their daily lives.

Public sustainable fishing programs

Queen’s organizes various public events to promote the sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. Our annual Elbow Lake Centre Public Outreach Events include Family Fishing Day in July and Family Ice Fishing in the summer, where participants can learn from fish biologists about fishing techniques and the importance of catch and release.

Our Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Lab also offers multimedia resources for the public and for anglers on everything from how to tell the age of a fish to keeping fish in good health.

Exploring local lakes

We encourage visitors to explore and discover the diverse ecology at our Elbow Lake facilities. The Elbow Lake Trail Guide App helps visitors learn about the wetlands’ environmental features and identifies points of interest along the several kilometres of walking trails.

Global reach

[Photo of a retreating glacier]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Under the Glacier by Dr. Alexander Braun, Faculty (Geological Science and Geological Engineering), Great Aletsch Glacier, Valais, Switzerland

Accelerating water innovations

Queen's is proud member of the Ontario Water Consortium, which is dedicated to researching and advancing the commercialization of innovative water technologies across our province.

Partners in protecting Canada’s oceans

As a member of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Queen's is working with other leading industry and academic institutions across the country to solve our ocean challenges and to sustainably grow Canada’s ocean economy.

Administration and operations

Sustainable seafood

Fish stocks around the world are plummeting. To help reduce global overfishing, all seafood sold or served on campus is sustainably harvested.

2022 Announcement

7th in the world
7th in the world

7th in the World

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

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