Essay Contest | Nov 29, 2019

Keeping Our Fresh Water Lakes Free of Plastics: An essay/visual contest for IISD-ELA

You would have to have been living under a rock for the last few years to have missed the international uproar about the impact of plastics and microplastics on the health of the world’s water supplies.

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to aquatic ecosystems in the world, so much so, in fact, that we have just launched an unprecedented research project to find out how much microplastic is in our lakes, and the impact it has on the lake health.

We are asking Canadian school students (under 18 years of age) to submit an essay or a visual entry in which they  (1) research a freshwater lake from anywhere in the world and (2) explain (a) technological solution(s) to manage and reduce plastic/microplastic pollution in that lake.

The top entries from both categories will win an all-inclusive trip for two to IISD Experimental Lakes Area (once we have reopened for visits from the public) to learn, first-hand, how we carry out our unique brand of freshwater research. 

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to aquatic ecosystems in the world and has proven to be a great concern to governments and the public in the last few years

Contest Rules


The IISD Experimental Lakes Area “Keeping Our Freshwater Lakes Free of Plastics” essay or visual contest is open to residents of Canada who are currently enrolled in Grade K–12 at a Canadian institution, and are returning to school in the fall of 2020. Students should have a designated teacher to guide them through the process and review the materials before submission.


To be eligible for the contest, contestants must submit all of the following documents:

Entries must be submitted no later than April 20, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. CST.

For more information and for the complete guidelines, see below.