Operational challenges associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed some planned summer work at a fresh-water research station near Kenora.

“We were unable to start any of the new research projects we had planned for 2020, such as exploring what microplastics do to fresh water, and how anti-depressants that get flushed down the toilet affect lake ecosystems,” an International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area new release said in a bulletin last month.

Monitoring of the lakes is to continue through the winter however, the Winnipeg-based agency said.

“During the winter, we usually send smaller teams out to monitor the lakes and conduct research, so this winter will look pretty similar to most winters,” the bulletin said.

The agency annually collects data from 58 lakes in its catchment area northeast of Kenora. The International Institute for Sustainable Development took the research station over from the federal government in 2014.