Feds investing $4M in freshwater research facility

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The federal government is investing $4 million into a freshwater research facility in Kenora, Ont., that nearly ceased operations two years ago due to funding cuts.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/08/2018 (1585 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The federal government is investing $4 million into a freshwater research facility in Kenora, Ont., that nearly ceased operations two years ago due to funding cuts.

The latest funding for the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), which is operated by the International Institute of Sustainable Development, a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization, will support a program that monitors long-term trends and ecological changes of fisheries health and productivity in Canadian boreal lakes.

Bob Nault, member of Parliament for the Kenora riding, made the announcement Wednesday evening, on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press files The funding is part of a 2016 commitment of $197.1 million for ocean and freshwater science.

“The IISD-Experimental Lakes Area is a great source of pride for northerners, and we are extremely lucky to have this world-renowned facility in our own backyard,” Nault said in a statement.

The natural laboratory, located 300 kilometres east of Winnipeg, in northwestern Ontario, consists of 58 small lakes used for scientific research. Its purpose is to allow scientists to undertake real-world experiments on small lakes to improve understanding about the impact people have on the environment.

The research facility was in jeopardy before the Trudeau government revived its federal funding in 2016.

The $4 million towards the ELA program is part of the government’s 2016 commitment of $197.1 million for ocean and freshwater science. The announcement shows the feds are committed to turning ELA findings into science-based policies that protect freshwater resources, Nault said.

This year marks 50 years of research at ELA, what the facility’s director, Matthew McCandless, called “Canada’s incredible gift to the world’s freshwater research.”

McCandless added ELA is dedicated to sharing its data openly; research findings are available to the public on its website (iisd.org), so anyone can learn how human and environment stressors affect freshwater ecosystems.

maggie.macintosh@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh
Reporter

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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