Experimental Lakes Area

Founding Year: 1968

Staff: 51

Budget: $ 4.2m

Matthew McCandless (Executive Director)

Is an international natural research station operated by the International Institute of Sustainable Development since 2014 after being defunded by the Government of Canada in 2012. ELA is “comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds” unaffected by human impacts and  dedicated to scientific research. It aims to “address global freshwater issues by directly applying world-class scientific research to create innovative policy solutions for regional and global water management.” Consequently, it conducts real-world experiments on these untainted lakes which yield  more accurate results than those obtained through small-scale laboratories then uses its findings to ensure the safety of freshwater supplies by striving to generate “more cost-effective environmental policies, regulations and management.” ELA also provides several educational and outreach opportunities to engage the public in the “importance of freshwater science for sustainable development.”



  • Aboriginal Engagement
  • Classroom Presentations
  • Day Tours/Overnight Stays
  • Field Courses
  • Essay/Visual Contest
  • University Opportunities
  • Educational Resources



Experimental Lakes Area contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


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