The IISD - Experimental Lakes area near Kenora will soon see more funding through the community’s support. Dr. Mike Paterson, who was worked at the ELA for over 28-years, his wife Gail Asper and family have announced that they will match donations made to the ELA, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $1 million.

“This is an exceptionally generous gift from a family that has already shown so much public support for IISD Experimental Lakes Area, and for that we thank them greatly,” said Matt McCandless, Executive Director, IISD Experimental Lakes Area.

The donation is to celebrate 50 years of ground-breaking research at the facility, and will go towards establishing an endowment fund for the next 50 years of research. Paterson, Asper and family have now donated $2 million to the facility.

“Ultimately, we need to have an endowment fund. This will be a constant source of funding. It’s essential that we grow our own funding sources from within,” said Paterson, following the announcement.

“I’m always worried about the long-term facility of the ELA. It feels really good to be able to help them. I’ve seen the difference that this funding will make. There’s no other place on the planet like the ELA. We just want to ensure that the ELA continues.”

The announcement was made in Kenora earlier today, as Patterson was joined by Kenora MP Bob Nault at the Whitecap Pavilion.

“As lake people, we are fortunate and proud to have IISD Experimental Lakes Area in our own backyard, here in the North,” said Kenora MP Bob Nault. “Their world-renowned research has produced amazing results that work to protect and preserve our fresh water.”

The IISD-Experimental Lakes Area is the world’s freshwater laboratory. It is an exceptional natural laboratory comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds in a remote part of northwestern Ontario set aside for scientific research.

“Having IISD Experimental Lakes Area on this pristine watershed is great a bonus for the future of Canada and the world,” said Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield. “It is in the heart of North America—Kenora—where water is our future.”

IISD-ELA is the only place on earth where researchers can experiment on real lakes to discover the impact of human activities over the long-term. For the last 50 years those lakes have taught us what causes algal blooms, what acid rain, mercury, dams and oil spills do to fresh water, and much more.

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