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February 2016

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Dear LWF supporter,

Nominate someone you know for the Alexander Bajkov Award

Help us give our local lake champions the recognition they deserve!

Named in honour of the pioneering Lake Winnipeg researcher (you can read his bio here), LWF’s Alexander Bajkov Award is presented annually to a person who exemplifies Dr. Bajkov’s dedication to the understanding of Lake Winnipeg, and who demonstrates outstanding efforts to protect and restore the lake and its watershed.

Past recipients have included scientists, journalists, politicians and educators. If you know someone whose efforts over the past year (or beyond) deserve to be celebrated, you can nominate them here.

The deadline for 2015 nominations is March 18, 2016. The 2015 Alexander Bajkov Award winner will be announced at our upcoming 2016 annual general meeting.

LWF’s outreach program

Our outreach program educates lake-lovers of all ages about the challenges facing Lake Winnipeg and the role each of us can play in the solution. Last year, LWF staff directly engaged with over 1,200 citizens through this program, from elementary school students to retiree association members!

Education is the first step towards action. We love hearing from citizens who have become inspired to do something – whether that means changing the products they use in their homes, contacting their elected officials about lake-related issues, or organizing their own educational events. Each of these actions contributes to the overall health of our shared waters.

Contact us to book a free presentation for your school or organization.

Winnipeg’s sewage

Two recent events in Winnipeg attracted significant public interest: the first, an accidental sewage spill into the Red River; the second, the release of a civic report detailing options to control “combined sewer overflow” (CSO) events.

These events underscore the cumulative negative impact of Winnipeg’s sewage on the health of Lake Winnipeg. They also speak to the need to upgrade Winnipeg’s wastewater infrastructure – both the underground stormwater and sewer systems, and the facilities that treat the water that flows down our drains and toilets.

Phosphorus from untreated/under-treated sewage contributes to the growth of harmful algae blooms on Lake Winnipeg. Phosphorus levels in effluent discharged from local wastewater treatment plants is required to be at or below 1 milligram per litre. This is currently not happening. A December 2015 report for Winnipeg’s North End facility, for example, shows phosphorus levels in effluent to be almost four and a half times this limit. (You can find monthly compliance reports for all three Winnipeg facilities here.)

Action 3 of the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan is Setting the Standard for Wastewater Treatment. Local leaders must get serious about reducing phosphorus inputs – and we’ll have the biggest impact through immediate upgrades to Winnipeg’s wastewater treatment plants. It’s time to take responsibility for our waste.

New projects for 2016

This year is shaping up to be a busy one for LWF. In the coming months, we will:

  • Train citizen scientists to collect and analyze water-quality data, allowing us to make better decisions for the health of our lakes and rivers. (This project supports Action 4 of the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, Monitoring our Waterways.)
  • Protect valuable shoreline habitat in Lake Winnipeg’s south basin, in partnership with residents, municipalities and industry. (This initiative supports Action 5 of the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, Managing our Shorelines.)

Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

Thank you for your ongoing support,

The LWF team

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LWF's office will be closed on Monday, February 15, for Louis Riel Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, February 16.

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