In this era of tight budgets good to see Canada funding science again! This article is from Environmental News:
Established in 1968, the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario attracts scientists from across Canada and around the world. The site encompasses 58 formerly pristine freshwater lakes 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Kenora, in the Lake of the Woods watershed.
Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley said, “The Experimental Lakes Area is an incredibly productive outdoor laboratory. It has an unmatched record of generating critical information about acid rain, mercury contamination, climate change effects, and the connection between phosphorus runoff and algae blooms in lakes. The ELA is a go-to place when we need information to make environmental progress.”
IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan said, “Premier Wynne’s commitment to the ELA is encouraging and we look forward to working with the province and the federal government on a plan that enables IISD to take over the operations of this extraordinary facility.”
IISD is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization specializing in policy research, analysis and information exchange to advance sustainable development globally.
“What is special about the ELA is that it takes research out of the lab and right into the environment. The ELA presents a rare opportunity for research, perhaps unique in the world,” said Vaughan, who took over at IISD in early April, after five years as Environment and Sustainable Development commissioner for Canada.
Environment Canada hydrologist Laurent de Rham measures ice depth over a lake in the Experimental Lakes Area, February 2010 (Photo courtesy Environment Canada)
In its remote location, the ELA provides a real-world laboratory in which researchers can isolate the effects of specific pollutants on aquatic ecosystems.
Over the past four decades, research conducted there has provided scientific evidence on the environmental effects of acid rain, phosphorous and other pollutants that has informed policy within Canada and around the world.
With new pressures like climate change, and poorly understood emerging environmental contaminants such as chromite, nanoparticles and endocrine disrupters, Vaughn says the case for continuing to support the Experimental Lakes Area is very strong.