Press release

IISD-ELA gratefully recognizes the contributions of donors to the Experimental Lakes Area

With a new research season at the site just begun, the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) would like to express its gratitude to the many Canadian and international donors whose contributions helped to guarantee that vital research on our freshwater continues for many years to come.

June 12, 2014


WINNIPEG—June 13, 2014—With a new research season at the site just begun, the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) would like to express its gratitude to the many Canadian and international donors whose contributions helped to guarantee that vital research on our freshwater continues for many years to come.

Over 300 supporters of freshwater research from across Canada and throughout the world donated to the recent Indiegogo campaign, helping us to surpass our initial goal of $25,000. This money will now be used to fund educational and training opportunities for university students at IISD-ELA, to ensure that the next generation of scientists are able to benefit from and contribute to this unique facility. Members of the general public can still donate through its Canada Helps donation page.

In particular, IISD-ELA would like to thank the RBC Foundation (RBC Blue Water Project), the Gail Asper Family Foundation, Winnipeg Foundation, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, the Thomas Sill Foundation and the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association for their substantial financial and in-kind support which allowed IISD to negotiate operation of IISD-ELA, and to lay the foundation of the new era of the research facility. IISD-ELA is also extremely grateful to the ongoing funding of the Governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Canada.

“The synergy from the collaboration between IISD and ELA is enormous, which is already having ripple effects across the country and globally," said Glenn Crook, VP Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank. "Everything we do depends on water– it is vital to our social and economic well-being. RBC Blue Water Project is honoured to support their work to help protect watersheds and provide all of us with access to safe, sustainable sources of water."

“We are extremely grateful for the financial and promotional support that such a wide, diverse set of individuals and groups have provided, all in the name of crucial freshwater research” says Matt McCandless, executive director of IISD-ELA. “These funds will allow us to begin a new chapter for the facility, providing many exciting and new possibilities not only to continue its world-class freshwater research legacy but also to expand its potential.”

Financial and promotional support has come from far and wide. Social media has been a key to the effort including the #SavetheELA campaign and, most recently, iconic Canadian author and activist Margaret Atwood, whose donation and tweets helped greatly to promote the Indiegogo campaign.

The Experimental Lakes Area, open since 1968 and comprised of 58 freshwater lakes, is a world-class, unique Canadian scientific research facility; the only site in the world where whole lake-experimentation (essential for optimal, accurate freshwater research findings) is carried out. On April 2, 2014, IISD, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada signed three agreements to ensure the long-term existence of the facility, with IISD as the operator. It recently began its new research season.

For more information please contact:

Sumeep Bath, media and communications officer, at or +1 (204) 958 7740.

Karla Zubrycki, project manager, at or +1 (204) 958-7733.


About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

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