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Experimental Lakes Area to Remain Open

"September 2, 2013 9:00 a.m.

Office of the Premier


Ontario will commit up to $2 million per year to keep the Experimental Lakes Area open - the only fresh water research facility of its kind in the world - a decision that will see that the important research conducted there can continue to benefit the world.

The Experimental Lakes Area is a freshwater research facility in Northwestern Ontario specializing in pollution reduction strategies, climate change, and protection of freshwater ecosystems. This unique facility in Ontario attracts scientists from around the world while conducting important research which informs our pollution reduction strategies, our understanding of climate change and how we can protect our lakes and rivers right here in Ontario, across the country and the entire globe.

This investment is part of the Ontario government's plan to foster research and innovation and create jobs in Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • An agreement between Ontario, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the federal government was reached before September 1st to keep the facility open as Ontario and the IISD finalize a long-term agreement.
  • The Experimental Lakes Area was established in 1968 and is approximately 50 kilometres southeast of Kenora, in the Lake of the Woods watershed.
  • In the 1970s research at the Experimental Lakes Area identified that acid rain could lead to freshwater fish deaths.
  • In April, the new Ontario government announced that it was working with the federal government, the Government of Manitoba and other partners to keep the Experimental Lakes Area open.
  • The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will assist with the transitional phase until the IISD fully takes over the Experimental Lakes Area operations while all three parties continue to negotiate a long-term agreement.
  • The Manitoba government is also providing ongoing funding to the IISD as the organization takes over the operation of the Experimental Lakes Area."