The Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northwestern Ontario is a unique freshwater research station that encompasses 58 lakes. The ELA was set up in 1968 for governments and researchers to study the causes and control of eutrophication and other types of water pollution. This area in northwestern Ontario was a natural choice since the area was relatively unaffected by human influences and industrial activities.
Over the past four decades, research conducted at the ELA has provided the scientific evidence-base on the environmental effects of acid rain, phosphorous and other pollutants that has informed policy within Canada and around the world.
Last spring the federal government decided to cut funding for research and operations of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northwestern Ontario and began tearing down the facilities. The estimated cost savings was $2 million annually.
There was a collective gasp in the science community, both nationally and internationally, with the news of the imminent loss of the facility.
Today the province of Ontario, in conjunction with the Government of Manitoba and other partners have decided to keep the Experimental Lakes Area operation in 2013 and will ensure sustained longer-term operations.
Ontario will provide the operating support and will work toward an agreement with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and other partners so that the important science conducted in the ELA can continue.
The Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, said, “We have had many conversations with members of the public and our scientific and academic communities who want to see the Experimental Lakes Area stay open. Investing in science and research to help us understand and prevent pollution is a wise investment for the people of Ontario.”
Visit the Experimental Lakes Area website: http://www.experimentallakesarea.ca