Lake Winnipeg has been named “Threatened Lake of the Year” by an international environmental watchdog.

Vicki Burns is the Outreach Coordinator for the Lake Winnipeg Foundation. 

“Scientists have been warning us about Lake Winnipeg’s future as far back as 1969,” said Burns in a media release. “However, the embarrassment that goes with a global recognition of such dubious distinction, is actually galvanizing the LWF and our important partners. We are more determined than ever to save our lake.”

On its website, The Global Nature Fund says Canada’s third largest freshwater lake is in serious trouble because nutrients and pesticides in agricultural run-off and sewage discharges are stimulating large amounts of blue-green algae.  That leads to an imbalance in the lake’s food web and can be toxic to humans.

Burns says the good news is the downward spiral of the lake can be reversed.  She says Lake Constance, bordered by Switzerland, Austria and Germany, was considered even more polluted than Lake Winnipeg.  It has now been cleaned up so that it provides drinking water.

Vicki Burns says the Lake Winnipeg Foundation will soon be announcing the first stage of a new action plan that will focus on science and collaborating with key stakeholders in the Lake Winnipeg situation.