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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > RBC donates $80,000 to help safeguard Experimental Lakes Area

RBC donates $80,000 to help safeguard Experimental Lakes Area

Winnipeg-based research institute receives RBC grant to scope out merger with world-renowned outdoor laboratory

TORONTO, September 2, 2013 - Canada is home to one of the world's most prominent freshwater research programs: the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), established by the Government of Canada in 1968. The ELA is an outdoor laboratory in northwestern Ontario where 58 lakes and their watersheds were set aside for research.

In its 44 year history, ELA research has led to more than 1,000 scientific papers, 130 theses and a Stockholm Water Prize laureate. The ELA has helped scientists conduct research and develop solutions to global challenges related to fresh water, such as nutrient-loading, contamination by metals and organic chemicals, climate change adaptation and impacts of resource extraction. This research has made many important contributions to water management policy in Canada and around the world

After the federal government announced plans to close the area at the beginning of April, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) began an assessment of the feasibility of merging the ELA with the IISD Water Innovation Centre, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a result of the assessment, the research facility will remain open.

RBC donated $80,000 to help IISD develop the plan to take over ELA operations, ensuring it remains an independent, world-class research facility that produces leading-edge science in the public domain and in the public interest. 

RBC has supported IISD since 2009, donating $430,000 to date. IISD is a Canadian-based policy research institute with a global reputation for independent, high-quality research. The IISD is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has international offices in New York and Geneva.

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