Concern about plans to close unique Canadian environmental project

September 5, 2012

The Canadian government's plans to discontinue in 2013 a unique environmental research project that has yielded insights into water pollution, climate change and other topics for almost 40 years would be a "huge loss not only to science but to the scientific heritage of humanity." That's the focus of a viewpoint article in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

J. G. Hering, D. L. Swackhamer and W. H. Schlesinger explain that the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) comprises 58 freshwater lakes and their watersheds in remote areas of the province of Ontario, where researchers can study how human influences impact complex, real-world waterways. The governments of Canada and Ontario put these waters under protection in 1968. Since then, scientists from around the world have conducted numerous long-term and ecosystem-scale experiments, producing 750 peer-reviewed reports, that the authors say would have been impossible elsewhere.

The Canadian government's plans to shutter the ELA fostered widespread concern among scientists. The authors reflect that concern in arguing: "In a world facing unprecedented effects of global , we can ill afford to abandon a facility that offers the unique combination of long-term monitoring and the capacity for ecosystem-scale experimentation."

Explore further: Great Lakes water agreement is signed

More information: "An Unparalleled Scientific Resource Endangered", Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (16), pp 8525–8526. DOI: 10.1021/es3030512


Related Stories

Great Lakes water agreement is signed

December 13, 2005

The governors of the Great Lakes states and Ontario, Canada, officials have agreed to ban nearly all pumping of water from the Great Lakes basin.

Potent human toxins prevalent in Canada's freshwaters

August 14, 2012

Nutrient pollution, one of the greatest threats to our freshwater resources, is responsible for the algal blooms that blanket our lakes and waterways in summer months. Large blooms of cyanobacteria ('blue green algae') can ...

Study pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms

August 22, 2012

University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler has reviewed data from studies of controlling human-caused algae blooms in lakes and says controlling the input of the nutrient phosphorus is the key to fighting the problem.

Recommended for you

New study sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

August 24, 2015

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published ...

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.