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Ex-Fisheries directors urge Harper to reverse freshwater-research cut

The Globe and Mail | June 22, 2012

Four former senior bureaucrats in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to reconsider the withdrawal of funding to a research centre in Northwestern Ontario that has been studying freshwater ecosystems for half a century. The four men – Burton Ayles, who was regional director-general from 1993 to 1995; Herbert Lawler, who was the regional director-general from 1973 to 1986; Paul Sutherland who was regional director-general from 1986 to 1993; and Rick Josephson who was regional director of fisheries and habitat management from 1981 to 1989 – say they are “deeply disturbed” by the potential closure of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) field station. Read more

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship need your feedback on the regulation of cosmetic pesticides!

What should Manitoba’s most important priorities be for the environment?

Do you support a different regulation of cosmetic pesticides? How should the provincial government best regulate cosmetic pesticides?

Your suggestions and feedback are welcome. We are accepting feedback until October 1, 2012. You may also send your feedback by mail or email:

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship
Environmental Programs and Strategies Branch
1007 Century Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0W4
Email: cosmetic.pesticides@gov.mb.ca

Manitoba ranks low on green report card

Winnipeg Free Press | June 8, 2012

Manitoba’s place on a newly released Green Provincial Report Card is shameful.

Corporate Knights, a company that focuses on clean capitalism by providing information that markets may use to develop green initiatives, released its third bi-annual Green Provincial Report Card today. Manitoba ranked 11th — with a grade of C+ — placing ahead of only Saskatchewan and Alberta. More…

A Guide for What Matters: Lake friendly Practices and Actions

WINNIPEG—June 18, 2012—The International Institute for Sustainable Development has identified practical ways people can contribute to water management practices aimed at improving the health of the world’s lakes.

IISD has collaborated with other stakeholders to develop Do What Matters: Lake friendly practices and actions, a guide for residents, farmers, fishers, recreational users, cottagers, students, businesses and local governments. The publication emphasizes the importance of collective action.

While the guide was developed to address issues within the Lake Winnipeg Basin, the best practices described in the guide can be applied to aid any lake experiencing eutrophication (nutrient loading). Nutrient loading can lead to severe and potentially toxic algal blooms.

These practices can help combat nutrient loading in Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world, and also help water bodies such as the United States and Canada’s Lake Erie; Hungary’s Lake Balaton; Japan’s Lake Biwa; Lake Victoria in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya; and Lake Dianchi in China.

“We want lake friendly practices and actions to become second nature to people,” said Henry David (Hank) Venema, director of IISD’s Water Innovation Centre. “We’re learning lessons and coming up with innovative solutions in the Lake Winnipeg Basin, and we can share these to help other countries experiencing similar problems.”

“The real strength of Do What Matters: Lake friendly practices and actions is that it highlights that everyone—business, government, farmers, homeowners—all need to be part of a broad-based solutions culture that can save money and create other environmental benefits while healing the lake,” Venema said.

Among the best practices featured in the guide are:

  • Sustainable procurement policies for lake friendly products.
  • Nutrient recycling and recovery from wastewater treatment facilities.
  • The use of native grasses and plants requiring low nutrient and water inputs.
  • The use of permeable materials such as wood decking or gravel for parking pads and sidewalks to allow water to percolate into the ground.
  • On-farm water storage and runoff reuse (for example using conserved and restored wetlands).