Down to Earth: How to Protect Fresh Water from Oil Spills

This episode looks at what freshwater scientists are trying to accomplish by spilling oil into a remote lake, and the unusual solution they've found to help clean up future oil spills.

By Sumeep Bath on July 6, 2020

Down to Earth Podcast · How To Protect Fresh Water From Oil Spills


Pipelines run all across North America. You probably live closer to one than you think. Although spills from pipelines don't occur frequently, we need to better understand what impact they have on nearby freshwater environments.

That's why a team of scientists at IISD Experimental Lakes Area in a very remote pocket of Canada are involved in a new project that seeks to better understand the risks of transporting oil, how to prepare for spills, and how to respond to them effectively.

In this episode of Down to Earth, take a trip with host Sumeep Bath to one of the ELA's 58 protected lakes in northwestern Ontario (the nearest town is a two-hour drive through the woods on a gravel road), meet the personalities behind the project, and get a feel for what's truly involved in solutions-based freshwater research (hint: it involves getting wet).