TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Progress reported on rehabbing Great Lakes, but threat remains

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 7:39 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Kidney donor sets off 6 degrees of salvation
  2. Blankenship: US prosecution ‘selective and vindictive’
  3. News Alert
  4. Ringling Bros. circus eliminating elephant acts
  5. Plane skids off runway at LaGuardia; no injuries reported
  6. Appeals court tosses gag order in ex-coal company CEO’s case
  7. Reports: Actor Ford seriously injured in small-plane crash in L.A.
  8. Senate Dems push for vote on attorney general pick
  9. Business, conservative groups speak up for gay marriage as Supreme Court hearing nears
  10. Oil spill in Washington river endangers wildlife
  11. Lawmakers press Veterans Affairs for improved access to rural health care