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Saving Canada's Experimental Lakes Area: Will this new effort work?

There were howls of protest last May when the federal government announced it planning on shutting down the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area near Kenora to save about $2 million annually.

Environmentalists called the proposed closure as yet another onslaught on science  -- the muzzling of research by the Harper government

The facility encompasses 58 lakes and for more than four decades, has provided cutting-edge findings on various ecological issues, including phosphate and mercury pollution, acid rain and aquatic effects of climate change.

Now, a Torontonian is trying to raise enough money to keep it open.

Joseph Muller posted this appeal on the crowd-sourcing website Indiegogo a few days ago.

Muller, an archaeologist by profession, says he has no political affiliation and is attempting to raise enough money so that ELA can stay in business. 

 “I appreciate the importance of scientific research and data, and fear the loss that the closure of this facility will result in,” he writes in the appeal.

The goal is to raise $700,000.

So far, $625 has been donated. Muller knows it has been slow going but there are still almost two months to go.  

Raveena Aulakh is the Star's environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh



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