“One of the finest natural areas yet discovered” was the way John McTaggart, a young British engineer, described Hamilton Harbour in 1827. By 1969, it was described in the Canadian Parliament as a “stinking rotten quagmire of filth and poisonous waste.” The “industrial heart of Canada” and “Steel City” are other descriptions that defined Hamilton and its harbour, setting the background for the image shared by most local and Canadian citizens. This image has persisted well past the turn of the 21st Century, even as things change.

Hamilton Harbour is a special place for research precisely because it has absorbed and succumbed to urbanization and industrialization. It is a special place because as a community, citizens, industry, scientists and governments come together to reinvent this Harbour and remediate its ecosystem. The remediation process is not complete at the time of this publication, but it...

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