Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 03, 2001

Keeping lakes, rivers, oceans healthy topic of Toronto conference

Two of Canada's leading aquatic research organizations are meeting in Toronto Friday and Saturday (Jan. 5-6) for intense talks on maintaining healthy lakes, rivers and oceans. Media are invited to attend.

Conference talks will focus on the state of the nation's water bodies and the fish that live in them, human impacts on lakes, the role of climate change, the health of Canadian rivers, and controls of biodiversity in fresh waters.

More than 400 delegates from the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL) and the Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research (CCFFR) will gather at the Royal York Hotel for the event. All speakers will be available for interviews during conference hours from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 pm Saturday. Speakers contact information may also be obtained prior to the conference by calling the University of Guelph's Office of Communication and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338 or 6982. Conference highlights include:


--10:30 a.m., David Schindler, a University of Alberta professor and internationally renowned expert on water quality, will give a keynote presentation on threats to freshwaters such as global warming, acid rain and snow, eutrophication, dam constructions, UV radiation and the loss of wetlands and drinkable groundwater.

--3:45 p.m., Trent University scientists Jennifer Winter and Peter Dillon discuss their research that shows that streams which drain golf courses have higher nutrient concentrations, elevated levels of potentially-toxic mercury and greater abundance of unsightly blue-green algae.

--5 p.m., University of Ottawa scientist Dr. Jules Blais talks about how the cool air in the Canadian Rocky Mountains may actually concentrate some toxins in the water, leaving fish and other organisms with toxic levels of pollutants.


--9:45 a.m., Irene Gregory-Eaves, Queens University, and researchers from the University of Toronto and University of Alaska will report findings of a study on the relationship between climate and the future of salmon production.

--11:30 a.m., David Bird, University of Quebec, discusses his new study that shows that you may very well be filling up with viruses if you drink untreated water, especially in Saskatchewan.

--11:45 a.m., Yves Prairie, University of Quebec at Montreal, explores whether blue lakes inhale or exhale. He and other researchers tried to solve the riddle of whether lakes remove or add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Their study showed that almost three-quarters of lakes release greenhouse-gas carbon dioxide, even in the blue-water clear lakes. Organic matter from the watersheds appears to fuel this "bad breath."

--4:30 p.m., Peter Leavitt, University of Regina, discusses his research that shows lakes are capable of rapidly removing excess nutrients from urban sewage and may actually act as a biological filter to improve water quality.

The conference is sponsored by the Canadian Journal for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, a 100-year-old scientific journal that is edited by University of Guelph zoology professors John Roff and Moira Ferguson.

Additional information about the conference is available at the SCL and CCFFR websites: or

Contact: Prof. Yves Prairie Department of Biological Science University of Quebec at Montreal (514) 994-4268

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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