Some members of Congress are trying again to get more money and protections for the Great Lakes. The GLRC’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Some members of Congress are trying again to get more money and
protections for the Great Lakes. The GLRC’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
The sponsors of the bill are calling it the Great Lakes Collaboration
Implementation Act. It aims to pay for recommendations from a
coalition put together by the White House two years ago. The measure
would target problems like invasive species, contaminated sediment and
A bi-partisan group of lawmakers has introduced the bill…and
environmental groups are giving their thumbs-up.
Jennifer Nalbone of Great Lakes United says the rapid increase in non-
native species is a particular concern.
“The most recent research shows that a new invader is discovered in the
Great Lakes every 28 weeks. This is the highest rate recorded for a
But some lawmakers from outside the Great Lakes region say there’s
little in the way of new money available for cleaning up the Lakes. The
Collaboration bill calls for billions more in additional spending.
As U.S. states look for more money to clean up the Great Lakes, the province of Ontario, has come up with some, albeit not a lot. Ontario announced that it will spend about $35 million to clean up the Great Lakes over the next five years. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Dan Karpenchuk has more:
As U.S. states look for more money to clean up the Great Lakes, the province of Ontario has come up with some, albeit not a lot. Ontario announced that it will spend about 35 million dollars, U.S., to clean up the Great Lakes over the next five years. Dan Karpenchuk reports:
Ontario’s environment minister, Elizabeth Witmer, says the money will be spent in several areas, including the clean up of contaminated sediment at seventeen sites on the Ontario side of the Great Lakes. She says the goal is to make the Lakes swimmable again.
Witmer says there will also be more monitoring and reporting of water quality, and the health of fish and wildlife in and around the Great Lakes region will be studied, but it’s not the first time that the province has pledged a huge clean up of its share of the world’s largest body of fresh water. More than half of the seventeen sites targeted by Witmer were supposed to have been cleaned up by the year 2000. So far only one has been cleaned up, and work is underway on only one more.
Opposition politicians and environmentalists call the plan a pathetic effort, and say the amount of money pledged isn’t nearly enough. They say it could be used up just by the city of Toronto in one day.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Dan Karpenchuk.
Polluted sediments sit at the bottom of rivers and lakes across the Great Lakes region. They can affect water quality, wildlife and human health. More than 40 highly contaminated areas in the region have been identified by the EPA’s Great Lakes Office. But so far, only about half of those sites have been cleaned up. This summer, dredging is taking place in at least three of those hot spots, all on rivers. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly reports on the challenges of cleaning up a river bottom:
The Corps of Engineers spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year
dredging harbors and river shipping channels nationwide to keep them
open. For more than 30 years conservationists have been yearning for
ways to do more than just keep barge canals open. They want to save
vulnerable river backwaters and ever-shallower lakes. Until recently
there has never been a technology capable of moving the amount of
sediment at reasonable costs while keeping the environment safe. But,
as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Charlie Schlenker reports, that
may be changing: