Save the Experimental Lakes Area

  • by: Heidi Swanson
  • recipient: Anyone who values science and the importance of sustainable freshwater resources in Canada

Note to Canadian residents: This online petition will NOT go to Parliament (they don't accept online petitions). Please download and sign the paper Parliamentary petition available on

The current Canadian Government is destroying the foundations of government science, cutting back funding for University-based research (e.g., recent cuts to NSERC), and handcuffing environmental NGOs. The latest move is to shut down the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). Citizens of Canada are outraged. Why?

“ELA is Canada’s flagship environmental research centreâ€Â (Peter Dillon). It is the only facility in the world devoted to whole-ecosystem research on lakes. It is internationally renowned. Since 1968, experiments conducted at ELA have led to national and international policy changes that have helped us manage algal blooms and facilitate the recovery of acidified lakes. Because of ELA, we have a better understanding of the effects of reservoir development and mercury emissions. We know that synthetic hormones from birth control pills affect fish populations.

“None can match the ELA on the basis of scientific return per dollar spentâ€Â (David Schindler). Research from ELA has produced hundreds of scientific contributions. ELA scientists have been the recipients of numerous prestigious international water awards, including the Stockholm Water Prize.
It costs approximately $600,000/ year to operate ELA (slightly over $2 million including salaries). For reference, it cost approximately $2 million to build a man-made lake for the G20 summit.

Recognizing the above, we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Canada to


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