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Whitefish Lake, Montana

Science and Education today—a vision for tomorrow

What We Do

The Whitefish Lake Institute (WLI) is a science and education based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation led by a volunteer board of directors and assisted by two volunteer committees—the Science Advisory Committee and Citizens' Advisory Committee. WLI is not an advocacy organization—we conduct research and provide scientific data to help citizens and resource managers make informed decisions. WLI accomplishes its work through three key program areas, Scientific Research, Education & Outreach, and Community Stewardship. Within these three focus areas, we establish programs appropriate to achieving the goals of our mission. WLI is funded by a broad base of members, research and education grants, special events, and through programmatic partnerships with other organizations and resource agencies. Together, we're investing in our clean water legacy.

How We Do It

WLI partners with other organizations to creatively fund research and develop programs that benefit Whitefish Lake and other local water resources. Data resulting from our Scientific Research programs is provided to the community and to resource managers to enable them to make informed decisions about water quality issues. WLI focuses most of its research work on Whitefish Lake and its tributaries, but also researches other lakes—through special project funding— in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln Counties. Efforts through our Education & Outreach program include classroom visits and outdoor education for grades K-12, college internships, educator in-service training, and presentations to civic groups. Through our Community Stewardship Program, citizens participate in activities that protect Whitefish Lake and its tributaries, and WLI participates in community groups and efforts that extend our reach. WLI also trains volunteer citizen scientists in monitoring lakes through the Northwest Montana Lakes Volunteer Monitoring Network (NWMTLVMN). Volunteers contribute nearly 1,000 hours to the program annually. Each year, these programs allow us to reach almost 1,000 citizens of all ages.

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Cool Stuff from WLI

Montana's Water Future Video

Volunteer Lake Monitoring


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Creating a voice for Whitefish Lake


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