Sponsor a fish and save Canada’s experimental lakes

Fans of environmental science can now play a direct role in helping Canada’s unique Experimental Lakes Area continue to do the research it has done for decades.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in Winnipeg, took over running the ELA on 1 April, after the federal government eliminated funding for the decades-old environmental research facility (see ‘Test lakes face closure’ and ‘Last minute reprieve for Canada’s research lakes’). The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba have stepped in to provide money to run the facility and conduct research for the next several years, but more cash is needed to restore research at the ELA to its former levels.

So IISD has turned to the public. It launched an appeal on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo seeking contributions to expand research and make the ELA less dependent on government largesse. Read more in Nature.

Lakes scientists ‘surplus’ to fisheries ministry requirements

Researchers at the Experimental Lakes Area have received letters from Fisheries and Oceans Canada declaring their positions to be “surplus”, and offering them jobs elsewhere in the ministry, Research Canada has learned.

The letters were expected, as the government department has ended funding for the environmental research station and is working to transfer ownership of the facility to the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development. But the timing of the letters could make it difficult for the institute to retain any of the facility’s scientific staff. Read more in Research Canada.

Last-minute reprieve for Canada’s research lakes

Government strikes temporary deal with independent institute to keep freshwater experimental site open.

Canada’s world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) has been saved from imminent closure after the federal government signed a makeshift 11th-hour deal with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to take over the running of the facility.

Effective from 1 September to at least March next year, the Winnipeg-based IISD will assume responsibility for scientific work from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), whose decades-old agreement with the province of Ontario to run the ELA expired on that day. Read more in Nature.