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Water E-Bulletin - A service of the Manitoba Eco-Network
Woman from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation speaks to UN about human rights
Linda Redsky says she was overwhelmed when the chief of her community asked her to go to Geneva, Switzerland, and speak to the United Nations about the state of drinking water in Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Put Up a Paradise
It is not as hard as it looks. Isn’t it time to depave schoolyards and begin collecting stormwater?

Capturing rain—finding the right words

Rain falls on a city – but instead of running off into a storm drain, it flows into a curbside rain garden, off a roof into a cistern, or is absorbed into vegetation planted on roofs. What is this called?

UK flooding: How a Yorkshire town worked with nature to stay dry
While the sodden, submerged North of Britain was, literally, wringing out the old year last week, one notorious Yorkshire flood blackspot was celebrating staying dry – despite having been refused a multimillion pound defence scheme. 

Pickering, North Yorkshire, pulled off protection by embracing the very opposite of what passes for conventional wisdom. On its citizens’ own initiative, it ended repeated inundation by working with nature, not against it.

Protect the beluga, protect the land
The Manitoba government has released a draft beluga-habitat sustainability prlan that outlines threats to beluga habitat in western Hudson Bay, and identifies opportunities to minimize these threats. Controlling local pollution, boat traffice and hydro development may be obvioussteps to protect the whale, but similiarly important is maintaining a healthy boreal forest. 

Are rain gardens mini toxic cleanup sites?
If you’re concerned about water pollution, you’ve likely heard this message: The water that gushes off our roofs, driveways, streets, and landscaped yards is to blame for pollution in our waterbodies. If stormwater is the source of such devastating amounts of petroleum and heavy metals, won’t the rain garden in my front yard become a mini toxic waste site that could harm children and pets?

Lake Winnipeg a 'perfect' place to train for South Pole cycling
A brave group of cyclists is pedalling out onto the icy surface of Manitoba's largest lake to ride the burliest bikes on the market through blistering winds and blowing snow, all in preparation for a trip across the South Pole.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announces 20 municipal green grants, loans

The federal government is promising new funding for environmental projects with municipal grants and loans to 20 cities and towns across the country.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced the funding in a speech to about 400 delegates of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Environment and the Community 

Green Action Centre trashes Winnipeg motion to halt curbside composting
The Green Action Centre says Winnipeg should quit stalling on organic waste pickup.City council was supposed to debate a motion today from councillors Ross Eadie and Russ Wyatt to put the brakes on a program for curbside collection of organic waste, but council decided to put it off until next month.  

Recently the administration introduced a plan that would see the city pick up compostable items from table scraps to pet waste at a cost of anywhere from $55 to $100 annually.

City council approves urban beekeeping in downtown Winnipeg

Downtown Winnipeg just got sweeter for beekeepers. City council approved the zoning bylaw amendment on Wednesday to allow bee hives on the rooftops of downtown buildings. The new amended rules brings Winnipeg inline with most major Canadian cities in allowing beekeeping in urban environments.

Green Infrastructure

The warm weather last week treated us to a little preview of spring. In Manitoba dreaming of spring typically leads to thoughts of excess water, and what to do with it. Enter: Green Infrastructure.

Known by many terms, it is the concept of diverting rain from storm drains into alternatives such as rain gardens, cisterns, or vegetation planted on roofs. It can help reduce flooding, and beautify school grounds. And it’s not just for spring; there are advantages to green infrastructure in winter as well. As Green Communities Canada notes, green infrastructure “directs roof runoff to permeable areas and using permeable pavement means that less water flows over hard surfaces, resulting in fewer icing hazards, since water does not sit on the pavement. It can also reduce the need for road salt.”
 

Upcoming Events

The not so Common Cattail: How this wetland plant is being used for bio-energy in Manitoba
March 1, 7:00-8:30 pm
Living Prairie Museum, Winnipeg

For more than ten years, IISD has been researching how the common wetland plant, cattail (Typha) can be sustainably harvested from the environment and turned into value-added bioenergy fuel products. In 2015, IISD and industry partners reached commercial-scale production of mixed fuel pellets. Learn how these pellets are being tested and used in residential pellet stoves, including the one in our interpretive centre. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Space is limited, so call two weeks in advance to save your seats (204-832-0167)


Provincial Election Environmental Forum
March 8, 7:00-9:00 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 603 Wellington Crescent

Find out where the parties stand on environmental sustainability in Manitoba at this all-candidates forum. Candidates confirmed include: James Beddome (Green), Armand Belanger (NDP), Darrel Rankin (Communist), and Bryan Van Wilgenburg (Liberal). 


Reel Green Fundraiser and Reception
March 10, 7:00 pm
The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, Winnipeg


An evening of inspiring short films that celebrate our natural environment. Cash bar, delicious food, raffle, and live auctions. Evening hosted by Global News reporter, Talia Ricci. Tickets  are $50 each ($25 tax receipt) until March 4th, $60 each after and at the door. Purchase tickets online or call 204-947-6511 to purchase your tickets. Proceeds support Manitoba Eco-Network programs and public education and awareness projects.


Composting Workshops
March 15, 16, 17, 22
Various times and locations 

Are you interested in reducing your waste and naturally improving your soil’s condition? Using compost reduces your need for chemical fertilizer, which means healthier lakes and streams. Discover how easy it is to start composting at home. Register online


Nominations for the Alexander Bajkov Award
March 18, online

Help give our local lake champions the recognition they deserve! Lake Winnipeg Foundation's Alexander Bajkov Award is presented annually to a person who exemplifies his dedication to the understanding of Lake Winnipeg, and who demonstrates outstanding efforts to protect and restore the lake and its watershed. Past recipients have included scientists, journalists, politicians and educators.

If you know someone whose efforts over the past year (or beyond) deserve to be celebrated, you can nominate them here. The deadline for 2015 nominations is March 18, 2016. The 2015 Alexander Bajkov Award winner will be announced at LWF's upcoming 2016 annual general meeting.

 

Resources

Funding Available: Science and Technology Internship Program
STIP provides funding to organizations, businesses and institutions to support youth in the natural sciences to gain relevant and meaningful work experience within their field of study.  Eligible employers can receive a contribution payment for up to 50% of the intern’s salary to a maximum of $13,200 per year.  Partners are responsible for finding their own interns. More information available online

Job Posting: Outreach and Education Assistant
IISD - Experimental Lakes Area is hiring for an Outreach and Education Assistant. Under the direction of the Institutional Development Coordinator, the Outreach and Education Assistant will support coordination, content development and delivery of education and outreach activities conducted at ELA and on ELA science and research. More information and to apply. 

World Water Day Website Goes Live


Learn about water and get ideas and resources for joining the global celebrations on March 22. World Water Day is an opportunity to learn more and be inspired to tell others. Read reports, watch videos and download teaching material from the international water community.


Webinar: Climate Change and its effects on our lakes
CWRA is pleased to announce this webinar event with Dr. Scott Higgins, Research Scientist for the International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area. He will provide a general introduction to the work being done on the effects of climate change on lake waters, and will present some of the surprising results already found. Registration.

Helping Communities Soak Up Rain
Green Communities Canada has created the Soak It Up! toolkit, a document that showcases a variety of tools for integrating green stormwater infrastructure across the urban landscape. Each section contains an overview the tool, examples from real-world experience (many from within Canada), and insights from practitioners about what works best—and what doesn’t. 
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