Progress reported on rehabbing Great Lakes, but threat remains
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A decades-old effort to nurse the battered Great Lakes to health has made progress toward reducing toxic pollution and slamming the door on invasive species, but the freshwater seas continue to face serious threats, a U.S.-Canadian agency said on Tuesday.
The International Joint Commission, which advises both nations on issues affecting shared waterways, said their governments had compiled a mixed record in restoring the Great Lakes, which for much of the 20th century were fouled by industrial and household sewage and overrun with exotic fish and mussels.
Levels of some toxins have dropped, although the rate of decline has slowed, and new chemicals have turned up, the commission said. Algae blooms were reduced dramatically, only to stage a frustrating comeback in recent years.
The commission has provided regular progress reports since the United States and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1972, when the system containing one-fifth of the world's fresh water was notoriously dirty and Lake Erie was widely described as biologically dead.
The latest report card focuses on the period since 1987, when the pact was updated with an emphasis on reducing toxins and cleaning up 43 highly contaminated areas. The two nations signed another version last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Record-breaking solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii after flight from Japan
- Santorum charter flight tab broke $400K
- $18.7B record-breaking deal clears path for BP to put Gulf Coast oil spill in rearview mirror
- Illegal immigrants stay in shift of policies
- Instances of hacking may be up, but indictments against Chinese military impactful, experts say
- Catholic bishops pressure presidential candidates
- Police find no evidence of shooting reported at Washington Navy Yard
- New York’s fracking ban starts clock for lawsuits
- Heat records smashed across West
- Advocate pushes IRS on nonprofits’ tax forms
- GOP observers take notice as Trump hires seasoned operative