Cycling for Solutions returns for 2016 with new goal
A group of amateur cyclists will once again challenge themselves to complete an ambitious, three-day, 500 km self-supported road trip from Winnipeg. Man. to the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) research facility in northwest Ontario.
Cycling for Solutions 2016 builds on the success of last year’s inaugural ride, in which three participants raised almost $4,000 for LWF and our ongoing work to restore and protect the health of Lake Winnipeg – the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world.
This year’s riders are once again paying their own expenses while accepting financial pledges for their efforts. New for 2016, all funds raised will support LWF’s community based monitoring (CBM) work.
LWF’s CBM is currently focused on monitoring phosphorus levels in water samples, excess phosphorus being a primary cause of harmful algae blooms which have been increasing in size and frequency on Lake Winnipeg’s waters. During the 2016 sampling season, members of LWF’s Science Advisory Council developed and tested collection and analysis protocols, and trained citizen scientists.
Cycling for Solutions 2016 participants are hoping to raise $5,000, which will enable LWF to purchase 10 more portable water-sampling kits that will be used by schools, conservations districts and individuals to generate meaningful data to monitor phosphorus and inform future water management decisions.
“Our ride seeks to connect the hard science of IISD-ELA to the hard work of all the citizens involved in monitoring phosphorus through LWF's CBM network. IISD-ELA research clearly demonstrates the need for monitoring and controlling the amount of phosphorus entering our waterways, and our ride demonstrates the role that citizens can play in this important work,” says Roger Mollot, president of LWF’s volunteer board of directors, research technician at IISD-ELA, and one of the riders taking part in the three-day trek.
Six cyclists are taking part in this year’s ride. The route plan is as follows:
- Day 1: Winnipeg to Warroad, Minn.
- Day 2: Warroad to Nestor Falls, Ont.
- Day 3: Nestor Falls to IISD-ELA
At all times, cyclists will remain within Lake Winnipeg’s watershed, a massive area covering almost one million square kilometres. The challenge of the ride intentionally mirrors the challenge of finding solutions to the ecological problems facing this great lake. Algae blooms on Lake Winnipeg caused by excess amounts of phosphorus flowing into the lake from multiple sources are contaminating beaches, reducing water quality and threatening Manitoba’s important fishing and tourism industries.
Since its creation in 1968, IISD-ELA has been one of Canada’s primary sources of lake science. Whole-ecosystem research conducted in the 58 small lakes and watersheds that make up this facility informs evidence-based solutions to the complex environmental challenges facing freshwater lakes including Lake Winnipeg.
Founded in 2005 by concerned citizens, LWF is a membership-based environmental NGO that’s uniquely positioned to link science with action – bringing together the expertise of its Science Advisory Council, the dedication of its broad base of members and volunteers, and the support of its many organizational partners. Its flagship initiative, the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, identifies eight sector-specific actions to manage phosphorus loading; CBM falls under Action 4, Monitoring our Waterways.
“Our growing CBM network is providing citizens with the tools and knowledge they need to take action in support of healthy water. Cycling for Solutions is also about citizens taking action. We’re thrilled that these cyclists have chosen to support our work – and we commend them for using their ride to highlight the critical importance of science-based solutions for Lake Winnipeg,” says Alexis Kanu, LWF’s executive director. “Together, we are translating science into solutions.”
Donations to Cycling for Solutions 2016 can be made online by clicking the link below:
While you're there, please consider sharing some words of encouragement in the “Message for Lake Winnipeg Foundation” comment field! Pledges can also be made by calling LWF’s office, 204-956-0436.
Riders are aiming to provide updates from the road on the Cycling for Solutions 2016 Facebook event page.
Good luck to Roger, Brad, Bruce, Richard, Imran and Neil on their journey!