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LWF signs Lake Friendly Accord

Joined by partners and supporters, LWF celebrated Canada Water Week 2015 by signing the Lake Friendly Accord and renewing its commitment to the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan. (Front row, l to r: Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh, Mike Sampson, Laurel Harrison with Maeve Harrison, Janet Sampson with Isla Harrison, Ella Carmichael, LWF executive director Alexis Kanu; back row, l to r: Jeremy Harrison, Dunnottar Mayor and chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves Rick Gamble) Photo: Kirsten Earl McCorrister

Winnipeg – Today, on the final day of Canada Water Week 2015, LWF marks its ongoing commitment to a clean, healthy Lake Winnipeg by signing the Lake Friendly Accord.

LWF was founded 10 years ago in 2005 by a passionate group of volunteers. The foundation has been a part of Manitoba’s Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance since the provincial initiative’s inception in 2013. The goal of the Accord is to improve water quality by reducing nutrient loading to rivers and lakes. Excessive nutrients such as phosphorus are contributing to the increasing size and frequency of harmful algae blooms in Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world.

“In signing this Accord, LWF renews our commitment to our Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, which translates science into action for a healthy Lake Winnipeg,” says Alexis Kanu, LWF’s executive director.

The Lake Winnipeg Health Plan identifies eight key actions to reduce phosphorus loading across Lake Winnipeg’s watershed – a vast area that includes four Canadian provinces, four American states and multiple First Nations. LWF is now working to move its plan forward in collaboration with its partners.

“Lake Winnipeg is a very special place for us and for many other families,” says Janet Sampson, one of the people in attendance at today’s event. For the past nine decades, four generations of Sampson’s family have spent their summers enjoying lake life at their Victoria Beach cottage, built in 1924.

“We’re concerned by the changes over the years that jeopardize the health of the lake,” Sampson says. “We are LWF supporters because we have faith in the future and we want to be part of the solution.”

“Leadership starts at home,” Kanu says. “The health of Lake Winnipeg is at a tipping point. The future of this iconic body of water depends on the steps taken today. With today’s commitment, we are creating a legacy – now and for future generations.”

You can learn more about the Lake Friendly Alliance and the Lake Friendly Accord here. You can read the provincial government's press release here.

LWF publishes a newsletter, The Watershed Observer, twice a year. Our most recent edition includes information on our emerging community-based monitoring network, details about groundbreaking microplastics research made possible through our grants program, and helpful tips on how you can speak up for water by reaching out to decision makers.

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