Atlantic Water Network, formerly the Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network (CBEMN),  was founded in 2004 by Saint Mary’s University professor Dr. Cathy Conrad. After initially supporting the Sackville Rivers Association in Nova Scotia with their monitoring needs, Dr. Conrad realized that there was a need to support community-based environmental monitoring across the Atlantic Canadian region. Decades later, the legacy of this work has expanded to other regions in Canada and around the world.

Her foundational research was based on the premise of supporting community-based environmental monitoring and management through the provision of support and resources such as an Equipment Bank, online training, workshops and the creation of the WET-Pro monitoring toolkit. An early pioneer in the academic study of community-based monitoring and citizen science, Dr. Conrad has now moved on to other areas of research. Her legacy as the founder of the CBEMN is felt among watershed and stewardship communities across Canada and around the world.