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Vale invests nearly $1M in Sudbury-based ecology research

Laurentian University’s Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit conducts long-term monitoring of area ecosystems
The Vale Living with Lakes Centre is seen in January 2024.

Vale is giving Laurentian University in Sudbury $960,000 over five years toward the long-term monitoring of area ecosystems.

The funding will go to the Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, which operates out of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake.

​“We’re very grateful to receive this funding from our long-term partners at Vale,” Jackie Litzgus, director of the unit, said in a Jan. 22 news release.

“This support will go a long way to foster research at Laurentian and to leverage additional support many times over.”

Launched in 1989, the Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit is a partnership between Laurentian, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Researchers work with local mining companies Vale and Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations to assess the effectiveness of programs put into place to reduce the impact of mining emissions on Sudbury’s aquatic ecosystems and watersheds.

The unit received international acclaim for its early work, led by John Gunn and Bill Keller, studying the impact of acid rain — generated from local mining activity — on the area’s lakes. It has since broadened its scope to include a range of related subject matter, including climate change.

“Research of this calibre is critical to allow industry to make informed decisions on sustainability initiatives,” Glen Watson, Vale’s senior specialist in sustainability, said in the release.

“Vale is proud to continue supporting this important partnership and is in keeping with our commitment to be a sustainable operator.”