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Local water champions receive provincial honour

The 2016 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award winners, with Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox; Photo: Manitoba Sustainable Development

The Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards recognize and honour people, projects and ideas that successfully turn the principles and guidelines of sustainable development into concrete, lasting achievements.

The 2016 winners were announced on May 10, and included several individuals and groups dedicated to clean water and a healthy Lake Winnipeg. Among them:

Mike Stainton, winner, Sustainability in Water and Natural Area Stewardship

Mike has demonstrated a commitment to innovative research in both his professional and personal life. An instrumental part of the design and operation of the chemistry programs at IISD-Experimental Lakes Area and the Freshwater Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, he’s also a founding member of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium. Mike currently sits on LWF’s board of directors and Science Advisory Council, and has been sharing his considerable expertise (and offering invaluable guidance) throughout the development of our community-based monitoring program.

Gordon Bluesky, honourable mention, Sustainability in Water and Natural Area Stewardship

Gordon is the Lands and Resources Manager for Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and a member of the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association’s board of directors. For the past two years, he’s also been the South Basin Chair of the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective, which continues to bring First Nations together to identify issues within their communities as they relate to Lake Winnipeg, and advance sustainable, equitable solutions.

St. George School, winner, Education for Sustainability

Guided by Brent Atkins, the Grades 7 and 8 students at St. George School are active in water stewardship. Using the Seine River, they have been studying water quality and learning about the importance of riparian habitat. Together, they call themselves the St. George Freshwater and Ecological Institute, and have a goal of involving young leaders in local watershed management.

Strathmillan Elementary School, honourable mention, Education for Sustainability

Students and staff at Strathmillan Elementray School have been putting water stewardship into practice and they explore the issues facing our local waters. “Water” was chosen as the school’s educational theme for 2015/16 and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation as a local charity partner. Sustainability via water stewardship was incorporated into lesson plans and extra-curricular activities, and students have also been taking action to conserve and protect water at home, in school and in their community.

Congratulations to these water champions and all the other winners for this well-deserved distinction!

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