Posted by: Vicki Burns | September 16, 2010

Cleaning Up Lake Winnipeg – Province of Manitoba and Federal Government Sign Agreement

The province of Manitoba and the federal government made it official 2 days ago – they are going to partner in working on a clean-up plan for Lake Winnipeg. The memorandum of understanding that they signed will lead to the creation of a new authority that will help to coordinate research and water quality management throughout the Lake Winnipeg Basin. 

image of blue- green algae on beach

Blue-green algae fouls beach on Lake Winnipeg

I met with Christine Melnick , the Minister of Water Stewardship, yesterday so was able to ask her directly what this agreement really meant. She indicated that it would mean a coordinated approach between the different levels of government regarding research and program priorities for improving the health of Lake Winnipeg. I am assuming that some of those activities will benefit other lakes that are suffering from too much blue green algae as well, because the practices required to decrease excess nutrients getting into the lakes should occur across the landscape.
At the same time as the agreement was signed, the federal government announced funding for 20 projects under their Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund. The money provided to that fund ( $3.7 million) was announced back in 2008 and will be completely allocated sometime in 2011. Projects receiving funding are to directly decrease the amount of excess nutrients getting into our water.
I’m encouraged that our governments are formalizing the way they will work together on this problem. But that does not diminish the need for all of us to get involved in protecting our precious water. This is one problem that cannot be fixed by government alone.

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