Distilling Science at the Experimental Lakes Area: Phosphorus, algae and nutrient loading

By Karla Zubrycki, Karla Zubrycki, Mike Paterson, Joel Trenaman, Build Films on April 7, 2014

This video highlights the role that the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a unique freshwater science research facility in northwestern Ontario, Canada, has played in helping the world understand and respond to nutrient loading.

Research at the ELA revealed that it was the nutrient phosphorus that was primarily responsible for algal blooms. The realization that phosphorus contributes so significantly to algal blooms has resulted in a range of policy changes in many countries, such as new approaches to landscape management and in the amount of phosphorus in household cleaning products, including dishwasher and laundry detergents. Solutions to reduce phosphorus inputs are being sought for algae-affected lakes all over the world, such as in Lake Taihu in China, Lake Balaton in Hungary, Lake Constance in Switzerland and Lake Winnipeg in Canada.

To support IISD-ELA, consider making a donation, or to learn more, visit