ijcThe IJC Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board is setting its sights on updating Objectives and Alert Levels for water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in our watershed.  The existing international Objectives and Aert Levels are outdated and not aligned to current priority issues.

Phase 1 of the project started in November and will engage experts and stakeholders to refine priorities and propose needs, options and potential metrics or indicators.  

Turner640A vocal, engaged and committed crowd of 200 citizens concerned about toxic and nuisance algae in Lake of the Woods gathered at the Clarion Hotel in Kenora, Aug. 15, 2018 to learn what is being done to address the problem.

Many attendees, led by former Prime Minister John Turner, voiced strongly a demand for Canada to “get on with it” and take action immediately to combat algae blooms jointly with Minnesota, in its plan to cut phosphorus by 18.4%.

 

Following a presentation from the International Rainy – Lake of the Woods Watershed Board in Washington D.C., the International Joint Commission endorsed and submitted the Board’s recommendations for immediate interim phosphorus reductions in Lake of the Woods to the Governments of Canada and the United States. 

Read the full June 13, 2018 IJC Press Release on "Immediate Interim Phosphorus Targets Recommended for Lake of the Woods"

Background Document:  IJC Letter to Governments

water samplerThe science team from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) was back on the lake in September for their fall intensive sampling, rounding out their work for the entire summer.  The ECCC science program aims to develop a framework to assess and predict the ecological response of the lake (e.g., algae blooms) to potential nutrient load reductions.

Ongoing water quality and other data were collected from 30 stations across the lake.  Issue-specific work was also undertaken to better characterize: nutrients coming from the lake bottom, algae types and toxins.

LakeAssocCitizen science, partnerships and the valuable role of volunteer organizations in lake stewardship, nutrient reduction and aquatic invasive species prevention was the focus of a one-day workshop for lake associations, held by the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation, September 11 at Sunny Cove camp on the shores of Rainy Lake. 

The Foundation’s watershed coordination program received a booster shot in the arm from the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation will receive approximately $250,000 over the next four years to help develop its watershed coordination program to create knowledge sharing networks, increase public engagement and collaboration, and build capacity for organizations and groups working on nutrient reduction for the Lake of the Woods Basin. 

The pdf Proceeedings Report of the 2018 International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum (5.73 MB) is now available.

Lake of the Woods and its watershed went under the microscope at the 2018 International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum, March 7-8 at the Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota. The auditorium was jam-packed with close to 170 researchers, resource managers and policy makers representing 72 organizations – a record attendance!

Clare Nelligan, Battigelli Award Recipient 2018Clare Nelligan, PhD. candidate at Queen's University, is the recipient of the 2018 Deborah Battigelli Memorial Award. Presented by the Foundation, this Award provides financial assistance to graduate students to present their research at the annual International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum.

Clare will deliver the Deborah Battigelli Memorial presentation at the Forum with a talk titled "Long-term trends in dissolved oxygen, nutrients and primary production in embayments of Lake of the Woods that support lake trout".