New Western-led research facility looks to protect our rivers


Western University geography professor Adam Yates has developed a better way of understanding how actions on land affect life in our waterways.

Yates and his colleagues have recently constructed the Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences (TRESS) centre, an innovative outdoor facility aimed at protecting aquatic ecosystems, water quality and ecological health.

The TRESS centre allows the researchers to study the effects of nutrients and other river contaminants by allowing them to integrate existing and future monitoring data from landscape-scale observational studies into controlled and replicated stream experiments. These experiments will help researchers understand indicators of ecosystem health and contaminant concentrations representative of contemporary rivers exposed to a broad range of land use patterns. This information will give watershed planners and managers critical insight into potential outcomes of decisions regarding future land use activities.

“This need is particularly strong in such regions as the Thames River Watershed and surrounding lower Great Lakes Basin, where contemporary landscapes present a limited snapshot of possible landscape patterns due to widespread development,” says Yates.

Strategically located at the Adelaide Pollution Control Plant, the TRESS centre is a partnership with the City of London, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and Thames River Clear Water Revival. It has been funded by the city, Environment Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change and the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council.

EVENT DETAILS: Media are invited to the official opening of the Thames River Experimental Stream Sciences centre at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, October 19.

LOCATION: Adelaide Pollution Control Plant, 1201 Adelaide Street, London, Ont.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165,, @jeffrenaud99

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