Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/4/2013 11:26 AM | Comments: 0
Lake Winnipeg has made an inauspicious list after being declared "Threatened Lake of the Year, 2013" by the Global Nature Fund.
Not a great surprise, according to environmental activists.
"Scientists have been warning us about Lake Winnipeg’s future as far back as 1969," said Vicki Burns, Outreach Coordinator for the Lake Winnipeg Foundation (LWF). "They warned that we needed to decrease the nutrients that are causing the toxic blue-green algae blooms back then. Yet, despite these warnings the action to clean up the lake has been very slow. However, the embarrassment that goes with a global recognition of such dubious distinction, is actually galvanizing the LWF and our important partners. We are more determined than ever to save our lake."
However, Burns noted that the quality of the lake can be "stymied, and ultimately, reversed." Burns cited Lake Constance, bordered by Switzerland, Austria and Germany, which the LWF said was considered even more polluted than Lake Winnipeg and has now been cleaned up so well that it provides drinking water to surrounding communities.
According to Burns, the LWF is currently leading development of an action plan that will focus on science and is engaging and collaborating with key stakeholders in the Lake Winnipeg situation.
"Perhaps more than we recognize, Lake Winnipeg has a strong global connection because of its home in Canada’s vast prairie region known as the World’s Breadbasket," added Alex Salki, chair of the LWF Science Advisory Council. "In our quest to feed the world, we are nevertheless fueling Lake Winnipeg eutrophication by removing the nutrient buffering capacity of wetlands, altering natural stream courses, and reducing habitat biodiversity. And of course, we are all aware of the urban and municipal impacts on the lake as well.
Udo Gattenjohner, of the Global Nature Fund, said while Lake Winnipeg is one of the largest lakes in the world, it’s "dramatic environmental problems" are less well known. Gattenjohner said "recent changes in Canadian polities seem to be eroding the protection, particularly of vulnerable water ecosystems – and it is disappointing because this does not really fit with our image of Canada."
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Former Bomber pleads guilty to fraud charges
City refunding $1 million in photo radar tickets because of missing words on tickets
Cut mosquito-fogging buffer zones: Steeves
August civic holiday to be named after national hero
Israeli strikes hit UN school, Gaza shopping area
Arrest made in city's 14th homicide
The search for a Billy Elliot to begin
Hamilton, former co-chair of AJI, dies
Folk festival over, but concert series continues
Police chief, nemesis of Rob Ford, losing job
Police still probing girl's 1985 disappearance
Man charged after alleged online chats with teen
Supreme Court to rule on Mr. Big stings
Nadal out of Rogers Cup with wrist injury
WECC to get F---ed Up on Sept. 23
Kelsey Grammer won't endorse killer's release
Figure in '80s payola probe faces NY gambling case
Condo construction starts on former Restaurant Dubrovnik site
Preview of Folklorama at News Café today
Ottawa puts up $2.5M to train Saskatchewan miners
Destructive rampage 'could have been catastrophe'
Jets re-sign forward Matt Halischuk
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies
Russia's central bank supports sanctions targets
Tickets for 5 Seconds of Summer's Winnipeg show on sale Aug. 9
UK holds crisis meeting on Ebola; warns of threat
Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio
AMC to elect grand chief today
Son says us-based missionary fighting Ebola
Nearly dead foal, nearly dead racetrack both thriving
Sixth suspect turns self in
Landslide hits Indian village, killing at least 17
Minor league pitcher charged with sexual assault
Hospital: 33 dead after Guinea concert stampede
Amazon to invest $2 bln to expand in India
Convict flees Quebec prison; search underway
Lena Dunham to read from new book at JFL42
Weather kills 2,000 a year; cold is top culprit
Police: Naked intruder fell asleep in couple's bed
Manitoba chiefs' salary data online