Kayla Martin is a recent graduate of Water Science and Environmental Health (BSc) at Wilfred Laurier University. She launched her diving career at thirteen years of age and has logged hundreds of dives exploring historic shipwrecks and beautiful coral reefs.
Kayla is active in Great Lakes conservation and education efforts. She studies invasive species and ways to prevent and control populations from entering water bodies, particularly inland lakes and rivers. She recently worked for Parks Canada in the Rouge National Urban Park Drinking Water Quality Program, transitioning tenants from bottled water to healthy tap water. Her interests lie in examining our interactions with water, the environmental impacts of water use, and ways to achieve sustainability for future generations. Current she is working for the Wetlands Hydrology Research Group at the University of Waterloo as a Research Assistant investigating the peatlands within the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.
With her love of diving and all things water-related, Kayla aims to inspire the next generation of divers. She presents at diving conferences across North America, including the prestigious Our World Underwater film show in Chicago and the Niagara Diver’s Association Shipwrecks Show. She is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community and has organized and participated in “Women’s Day of Diving” activities, encouraging women of all ages and abilities to discover the underwater world. Kayla is an ambassador for several Canadian marine conservation organizations. She promotes preserving historic shipwrecks and low-impact diving with Save Ontario Shipwrecks (SOS) and documents submerged historical sites with the Ontario Marine Heritage Committee. She serves as the Membership Director with the Niagara Divers Association.
Land and Water Acknowledgement
Kayla acknowledges that the land on which she lives is the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as well as the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee peoples.
For thousands of years the First Nations peoples of North America have had a special relationship with water. To quote the Assembly of First Nations “Water is the most life sustaining gift on Mother Earth and is the interconnection among all living beings. Water sustains us, flows between us, within us, and replenishes us. Water is the blood of Mother Earth and, as such, cleanses not only herself, but all living things.”
Many First Nations seek to restore the traditional ways of protecting the health of water and to share these ways with the world. Kayla supports their efforts in gaining back recognition of their authority over water and advocates that resources should be allocated to them in their efforts to protect the health of the water that Mother Earth gives.