IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA)

Registered Name: IISD Experimental Lakes Area Inc.

Business Number: 850309576RR0001


The Frontline of Freshwater Research

IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is the leading living laboratory for freshwater science. Headquartered in Winnipeg, IISD-ELA's cutting-edge research station is located in northwestern Ontario in an area of abundant fresh water. Consisting of 58 freshwater lakes and their watersheds, IISD-ELA is one of the few research sites in the world that has the ability to conduct experiments on whole lakes. This is important because whole-ecosystem experiments often provide more meaningful answers to global water and environmental issues than research conducted in artificial settings, such as laboratories.

IISD-ELA identifies solutions to many of the most pressing challenges facing the world's fresh water. Over the last five decades, the results of these studies have helped us understand the effects of human activity on fresh water and had influenced policy and billion-dollar decisions by governments and industries around the world.

In this new era, IISD-ELA has become a platform for educaiton and environmental research facilitated through strong partnerships with schools, the broader scientific community, industry and the general public.

To help us continue the incredible work of the IISD-ELA and preserve a legacy that began in 1968, please consider donating online.

To learn more about our cutting-edge research, please visit our website here.

What Will Your Donations Go Toward?

IISD Experimental Lakes Area's success depends on an up-to-date research station and resources. Your generous donations will help find solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our freshwater supplies.

  • Protecting the Data

IISD-ELA's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program has been collecting data on climate, water flows, water chemistry, and key components of the aquatic food web (including algae, invertebrates, and fish) from lakes unaffected by humans for almost 50 years, making it one of the longest, largest and most comprehensive datasets in the world. It is an invaluable resource, used on an ongoing basis by scientists around world. These data are critical to understanding and identifying global environmental changes in Canada and around world.

Since it is irrecoverable if interrupted, securing funds to support the LTER program is essential to ensure continuity of the data.

Click here to learn more.

  • Environmental Education and Outreach

Since 2014, we have been expanding our portfolio to branch out into environmental education and outreach. We need your support to develop our educational programming and host the growing numbers of students and graduates that we welcome to our facility. Your donations will go towards our Sustainable Futures Fund, aimed at attracting students and researchers from local, national and international learning institutions.

Click here to learn more.

  • Essential Research Infrastructure

There are 20 buildings, including laboratories, a workshop, a kitchen and dining hall, and living quarters at IISD-ELA. As collaborations and partnerships grow to welcome additional outside researchers, building new and enhancing existing lodgings and shared facilities will ensure research and education continues at IISD-ELA. And we are counting on your support to help us.

We also seek support to expand and upgrade our laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment capable of handling additional types of freshwater analyses.

We are determined to lower the carbon footprint and adopt energy and water-efficient technology at IISD-ELA. Investment in our campaign will advance our vision to become a green facility.

What People Are Saying

"The extensive long-term dataset on all aspects of the ecosystem, and from so many lakes, makes it uniquely insightful for understanding changes in climate over the past 50 years."

— Dr. Michael Rennie, Canadian Research Chair at Lakehead University

"IISD Experimental Lakes Area research ensures that Canadian waters are healthier. It is the best place on the planet to understand how humans are impacting surface waters and, time and time again, has changed how we manage this resource."

— Dr. Karen Kidd, Canada Research Chair

"Over the years IISD-ELA has done invaluable work with indigenous communities in Canada that has contributed to a progressive dialogue on indigenous rights, human development and environmental stewardship and sustainability."

— Phil Fontaine, President, Ishkonigan Inc. and IISD-ELA Board Member

"The ongoing experiments and long-term datasets at the Experimental Lakes Area are an unparalleled resource for critical evaluation of the ongoing changes to our planet."

— Dr. William Schlesinger, President of the Cary Institute, New York

"Thank you so much for your generous and thoughtful donation which allowed me to participate in the Experimental Lakes Area Student Experience. Because of you, I have had the adventure of a lifetime…"

— Grade 11 student, participated in ELA Student Experience (E.L.S.E.)

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