June 18 update: A huge thanks to everyone for helping us to surpass our fundraising goal! We are now busy working on fulfilling the perks and look forward to sending them to donors! The campaign is now closed, but if you would still like to help, please consider donating through Canada Helps: https://www.canadahelps.org/services/wa/dnm/en/#/page/2824
The Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) is a freshwater research facility in Northwestern Ontario, Canada that has operated as a government research program for over 45 years. After the Canadian Government announced that it would no longer fund the ELA program, operations were transferred to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in April 2014. IISD now needs additional funding to expand ELA’s vital legacy of research so that it can continue to find effective solutions to environmental problems affecting fresh water.
We can thank the ELA for many of the improvements we have seen in recent years to the quality of the water we use daily. ELA’s whole-lake research findings have been instrumental in the phase-out of harmful phosphorus additives in cleaning products, tightening air pollution standards in response to acid rain threats, and proposed installation of scrubbers inside industrial smokestacks to reduce mercury levels found in the fish we eat.
The ELA features a collection of 58 small lakes, as well as a facility with accommodations and laboratories. Since its establishment in 1968, ELA has become one of the world’s most influential freshwater research facilities. In part, this is because of the globally unique ability at ELA to undertake whole-ecosystem experiments.
There is nowhere else in the world that has the same potential to conduct this type of research and make such a positive impact on our world’s freshwater supplies.
What We Need
Now we need your support.
As IISD takes over the Experimental Lakes Area, initial funding has been secured to manage the facilities and conduct a minimum amount of research, and for this we are grateful. It is our goal, however, to rebuild the program to its former status and to help it expand and thrive. We are also striving to reduce the ELA’s reliance on government support so that it may never again be shuttered because of changes in policy. This will help us understand and address global freshwater challenges and communicate what we have learned to improve understanding, education and decision making.
Your generous donations will help us create and benefit from numerous educational and training opportunities for university students at the ELA.
The ELA offers great potential for the scientists and researchers of tomorrow to garner hands-on research experience and gain practice in driving and conducting research projects. In turn, the facility benefits immensely from the hard work and research generated by summer students.
As part of the new era for ELA that IISD is ushering in, we plan to expand its role to include training, workshops and field courses that will educate and benefit local communities, as well as the greater scientific community.
Charitable tax receipts can be issued for donations over $25 (minus the fair market value of the perk).
If you wish to donate without receiving a perk, please consider donating through Canada Helps: https://www.canadahelps.org/services/wa/dnm/en/#/page/2824
Other Ways You Can Help
There are many ways for you to help ensure the ELA reaches its maximum potential to research and educate. If you are unable to make a financial contribution, you can still help us out by:
- Sharing information about our Indiegogo campaign and the work that ELA does with your networks and your social media followers. You can also use Indiegogo Share Tools.
- Volunteering some time to help us with our Indiegogo campaign at our Winnipeg office.
To learn more about how you can help the campaign, please contact Karla at firstname.lastname@example.org.