This Is How The World’s Freshwater Laboratory Is Responding to COVID-19
You’ve heard it so many times in so many ways these past few weeks, but these are unprecedented times.
Over our 52-year history, the world’s freshwater laboratory has weathered many changes and welcomed many new eras; this global pandemic is no exception.
Our priority is always safeguarding the health of our dedicated team of employees, research partners, and guests. To that end, nearly all our staff are now working from home and practicing physical distancing. All non-essential activity at IISD-ELA, including educational programs and public visits, are suspended until the end of May.
Through very careful planning, we were able to successfully complete winter-sampling of the lakes—a critical step in ensuring we maintain our 52-year unbroken dataset on everything from the temperature and ice depth to the chemistry and fish populations of our lakes.
As we look toward our usually lively summer research season, we want to maintain that dataset. To make this happen, we are tracking the COVID-19 situation in real time and actively exploring all avenues to keep our unique approach to freshwater science going, while guaranteeing our community’s safety.
Many of the partner organizations with whom we conduct our research, such as universities, have already implemented travel bans that will preclude their staff and students from visiting the site this summer. We anticipate more will soon follow.
Amidst the current uncertainty, one thing you can count on in the months ahead is for us to keep you up-to-date on our latest news and decisions, as well as what COVID-19 might mean for our freshwater supplies. Stay tuned to our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Instagram feed.
And if you’re looking for ways to make sure you’re protecting freshwater supplies while at home, find some quick and easy tips here.
Stay healthy and stay connected.
The IISD Experimental Lakes Area team
You know that ground-breaking freshwater research you just read about? Well, that’s actually down to you.
It’s only thanks to our generous donors that the world’s freshwater laboratory—an independent not-for-profit—can continue to do what we do. And that means everything from explore what happens when cannabis flushes and oil spills into a lake, to how we can reduce mercury in fish and algal blooms in fresh water—all to keep our water clean around the world for generations to come.
We know that these are difficult times, but the knowledge to act on scientific evidence has never been more important. Neither has your support.
If you believe in whole ecosystem science and using it to bring about real change to fresh water around the globe, please support us in any way you are able to.