Experimental Lakes Area

In Brief

1968, Winnipeg, Canada; unique research on lakes and pollution


(1968, Winnipeg, Canada; www.experimentallakesarea.ca/ELA_Website.html).

An internationally unique research station encompassing 58 small and formerly pristine freshwater lakes (1 to 84 ha). Uses the whole ecosystem approach to make long-term, whole-lake investigations of freshwater, so as to better understand global threats, demonstrate the impacts of human activities on watersheds and lakes, develop appropriate strategies for ecosystem restoration and enhancement, and promote environmental protection and conservation. Its Long-Term Ecosystem Research program focuses on eutrophication (pollution by excess nutrients), acidification, and impacts of cage aquaculture.  The Government of Canada abruptly defunded the ELA in 2012. The decision was widely condemned by the Canadian and international scientific community. In April 2014, the International Institute for Sustainable Development signed three agreements to ensure that it will be the long-term operator of the ELA research facility, which has produced 745 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 102 book chapters and synthesis papers, 185 data reports, and several books. ELA scientists have been the recipients of numerous prestigious international water awards, including the Stockholm Water Prize. Senior Research Scientist: Dr Michael Paterson.

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