Support Cycling for Solutions 2017 and expand water monitoring across Manitoba!
For the third year in a row, a group of amateur cyclists are challenging themselves to complete an ambitious, three-day, 500 km self-supported road trip from Winnipeg. Man. to the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) research facility in northwest Ontario.
Riders are paying their own expenses while accepting financial pledges for their efforts. All funds raised will be donated to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation (LWF) to support the expansion of the Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring (CBM) Network.
CBM engages citizen volunteers in the collection of water samples which are then analyzed in a lab to measure phosphorus concentration and calculate the amount of phosphorus being exported off our landscapes. CBM data can be used to pinpoint phosphorus hotspots across the watershed. The more data we have, the better we can focus our energy and invest our resources wisely to improve the health of our lakes and rivers.
Last year’s Cycling for Solutions ride raised $7,845 for the Lake Winnipeg CBM Network. The success of this fundraising initiative – made possible through the efforts of the riders and the generous support of Cycling for Solutions donors – enabled a significant increase in local CBM capacity. The 2017 CBM season is currently underway and will see over 1,000 samples collected at more than 70 sites (up from 200 samples collected from 12 sites in 2016).
Cycling for Solutions 2017 participants are hoping to raise $8,000. This money will enable the continued expansion of local CBM efforts by adding and maintaining 25 new sampling sites throughout the 2018 sampling season.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” says Roger Mollot, president of LWF’s volunteer board of directors, operations manager at IISD-ELA, and one of the riders taking part in the three-day trek. “The CBM network allows for timely and accurate measurement of phosphorus loading in our waterways. This improved approach to data collection will enhance the efforts to manage nutrients in our lakes and rivers.”
Six cyclists are taking part in this year’s ride. Leaving on Sept. 1, their route plan is as follows:
- Day 1: Winnipeg to Warroad, Minn.
- Day 2: Warroad to Nestor Falls, Ont.
- Day 3: Nestor Falls to IISD-ELA
At all times, cyclists will remain within Lake Winnipeg’s watershed, a massive area covering almost one million square kilometres. The challenge of the ride intentionally mirrors the challenge of finding solutions to the ecological problems facing this great lake.
Since its creation in 1968, IISD-ELA has been one of Canada’s primary sources of lake science. Whole-ecosystem research conducted in the 58 small lakes and watersheds that make up this facility informs evidence-based solutions to the complex environmental challenges facing freshwater lakes including Lake Winnipeg.
Founded in 2005 by concerned citizens, LWF is uniquely positioned to link science with action – bringing together the expertise of our Science Advisory Council, the dedication of our members and the support of our many partners. Our flagship initiative, the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, aims to reduce phosphorus loading through the implementation of eight actions; CBM falls under Action 4, Monitoring our Waterways.
“Concerned citizens and LWF members are leading the charge for freshwater solutions – and this is literally true with Cycling for Solutions” says Alexis Kanu, LWF’s executive director. “These dedicated riders have demonstrated that each and every one of us has the ability to make an impact.”
CBM provides a cost-effective way to increase our understanding of phosphorus exports and improve the way we manage our lands and waters.
Help make evidence-based solutions possible for Lake Winnipeg by supporting Cycling for Solutions 2017 at the donation link below:
While you’re there, please consider sharing words of encouragement in the “Message for Lake Winnipeg Foundation” comment field. Pledges can also be made by calling LWF’s office, 204-956-0436.
Riders are aiming to provide updates from the road on the Cycling for Solutions 2017 Facebook event page.
Good luck to Roger, Brad, Bruce, Pete, Stephen and Shane on their journey!