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A researcher aboard the Bradbury (now in the Selkirk Marine Museum) collects surface sediment samples from Lake Winnipeg using an instrument called a dredge, circa 1969.

Despite its ecological, cultural and economic importance, Lake Winnipeg is relatively under-studied compared to other bodies of water. Today’s scientists are working to change that.

Research on and around the lake is ongoing, and each new finding furthers our understanding of its unique physical, biological and chemical characteristics. Scientific research also helps us understand how nutrients such as phosphorus are affecting Lake Winnipeg’s ecosystem by contributing to the growth of harmful blue-green algae blooms.

At LWF, we believe good science is key to restoring and protecting the health of Lake Winnipeg. The more up-to-date, accurate scientific information we have about what’s happening in our lake, the better able we are to make smart decisions about water management.

The Lake Winnipeg Basin Information Network

The Lake Winnipeg Basin Information Network is an online resource that contains biological and physical data about Lake Winnipeg and its watershed. Created by the federal government through Environment Canada, and maintained by the University of Manitoba with contributions from a number of partner organizations, its goal is to promote data sharing and ensure the consistent and reliable delivery of information.

Reducing Nutrient Loading to Lake Winnipeg and its Watershed: Our Collective Responsibility and Commitment to Action

The Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board Report was formed as part of a provincial action plan to help protect Lake Winnipeg; its term ended in January 2010. The LWSB’s 2006 report to the minister of water stewardship contains a series of recommendations that, together, act as a blueprint for action on Lake Winnipeg – both for governments and the general public.

State of Lake Winnipeg Report

The State of Lake Winnipeg Report was in released in July 2011 by the governments of Manitoba and Canada, led by Manitoba Water Stewardship and Environment Canada. This report assesses the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of Lake Winnipeg and presents the recent state of knowledge on the Lake Winnipeg aquatic ecosystem as it pertains to eutrophication.

Red Zone Community Forums

In October 2008, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, in partnership with University of Winnipeg’s Richardson College for the Environment, organized the Red Zone: Chemicals, Currents and Change, a first-of-its-kind, two-day symposium that brought together scientists from across Lake Winnipeg’s watershed to discuss the problems and possible solutions facing the lake. (Biographies of participating experts are available here.) 

Red Zone II: Lake Winnipeg Science and Solutions, took place in November 2010, part of a two-day summit organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Water Innovation Centre. Following the Manitoba premiere of the documentary Choking Lake Winnipeg, LWF hosted a public forum at which water experts shared ideas about watershed issues and ways to improve the state – and fate – of Lake Winnipeg. Available videos of Red Zone II speakers include:

Tom Simpson (Part 1 of 2)
Tom Simpson (Part 2 of 2
Ray Hesslein
Hank Venema 
Gordon Goldsborough
Bob Sanford 

Red Zone III was held in May 2012 as part of the inaugural Living Lakes Canada Gathering. LWF’s third community forum once again brought local and international water experts to Winnipeg to discuss a broad range of issues related to the lake and its watershed, with a goal of inspiring change. More information about Red Zone III, including the agenda, speaker bios and abstracts, is available 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.