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
Bird poop, leaking roofs damaging legislature
Lapsed veterans funds 'not lost': Fantino
Study to probe reopening Dalnavert Museum
Boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer
Day only going to get colder, snow on the way
$200M allocated for military mental health
Man facing charges after rings, medication recovered
Labour laws are hampering youth
Two charged after stabbing at party
Jets almost always close
NHL game day: Jets vs. Blues, Nov. 23
Red Top restaurant runs in the family
They took 'food off the stove'
City dentist charged in sex-abuse case
A matter of faith
Police identify slain woman
Habs draft pick Scherbak injured in WHL game
Putin says he will not be president for life
Police find mom of baby abandoned in Sydney drain
UK police: up to 5 terror plots foiled this year
Alberta wolf cull stabilizes caribou herd: study
Buffalo residents urged to prepare for flooding
Islamic State group recruits, exploits children
Iran: Nuclear talks may focus on an extension
Muslim clerics meet in Iran to counter extremists
Saudi's Mobily suspends CEO amid accounting errors
Roger Federer's Switzerland wins Davis Cup final
Israel mulls hard-line legislation after attacks
Rare jade collection set for Toronto auction
Hamilton answers Rosberg in style to clinch title
Bomb kills 2, wounds 23 in southern Philippines
Afghan officials say suicide bomber kills some 45
Tunisians hold landmark presidential election
Does bad behaviour really hurt business?