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Lake Erie ‘Severely Threatened,’ Limits on Farm Operations May be in Store

U.S. representative to binational commission says “it’s time for government at all levels to put the lake on a diet by setting targets and achieving real reductions in nutrient loads.”

Lake Erie, a popular recreation spot in Michigan, is "severely threatened," according to a report issued Thursday by the International Joint Commission.
Lake Erie, a popular recreation spot in Michigan, is "severely threatened," according to a report issued Thursday by the International Joint Commission.

A 100-page report released Thursday by a U.S.-Canadian agency says water quality in Lake Erie has been in decline for a decade, largely due to farm runoff, and government action is needed to correct problems in the “severely threatened” lake.

Solutions could include new restrictions on farms in the lake’s watershed, the Detroit News reports. The report from the International Joint Commission cited nutrient overloading and other factors as causes in the decline of water quality.

>>> Read the  full Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority report and remedial recommendations.

“Lake Erie is once again severely threatened...,” the report reads. “The recent accelerating decline of this lake, manifested as impaired water quality, massive, summer-long algal blooms, hypoxia and fish kills, has focused bi-national attention on the need for urgent actions to reduce external inputs of phosphorus.

“While Lake Erie’s health suffers from multiple stressors, the rising proportion of dissolved phosphorus is seen as the primary cause of this decline.”

A popular recreation spot in warm-weather months, Lake Erie has been plagued by massive green algae blooms caused by nutrients, such as phosphorous, which are often found in farm chemicals.

Lana Pollack, the U.S. chair of the ICJ, said “it’s time for government at all levels to put the lake on a diet by setting targets and achieving real reductions in nutrient loads.”

The binational ICJ was created more than a century ago to settle disputes between the United States and Canada over management of the Great Lakes and other boundary waters.


joe smoe February 27, 2014 at 02:03 PM
Why don't we address the fact that China, though not allowed to directly pump water from the Lake Michigan and barge it back to China as a fresh water source, they are allowed to diagonally drill toward the underground water under Lake Michigan to barge it back to China. This is being done by Nestle Corporation. They must be stopped. Boycott Nestle products for this reason alone. The water level in the lakes in Michigan and other areas are being lowered since the ground water level is being lowered. Once this precious water is gone, it is gone for good. Research this on 60 Minutes on-line.
Richard Cranium February 27, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Joe, you need to do the math. A thousand barges can't drop Lake Michigan 1/8 of an inch. The lakes lose hundreds times more water per day to evaporation. Now what about Chicago and that river running backwards? Plug that up and we can get the lake back.
joe smoe February 27, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Rich, it all adds up. Who entitled the Chinese to steal our natural resources? The only thing we get in return is a barge full of empty, new water bottles, to be filled and sold as bottled water.
Dave Kniffen February 27, 2014 at 03:44 PM
wow thats dumbest thing I have ever heard, you cant take water from a large lake, or the whole system of lakes and displace it elsewhere in the world... You need to learn about water tables, ground water, and aquifers... the water will just keep coming back you fools, it doesnt just disappear..
Richard Cranium February 27, 2014 at 03:44 PM
WWW.boatnerd.com If these barges exist, there will be passage dates, times, and direction listed on this site.
geo land February 27, 2014 at 03:47 PM
The US owes China lots of $$$ to fund wasteful spending and the never ending wars against people, wars on drugs, war on terrorist, war against foreign country's, NSA, DHS, TSA, CIA, FBI, etc. etc.. so the US Government lets them take out US natural resources and land ownership in trade rather than to let the Chinese collapse the US Bond market and economy. The the research folks.
Erly Pete February 27, 2014 at 05:41 PM
Apparently the paid trolls are about - joe smoe and geo land - some axe to grind for pay that has put them up to throw out non-facts to agitate folks. It is part of the conservative, GOP m.o. - i.e., a lesson plan from the koch brothers playbook. "We don't like Nestle, we don't like China, we don't like - fill in the blank -", therefore, toss out unsubstantiated statements, even bald lies, and someone will take the ball and run. If we get "outted", we'll just walk it back and "apologize". Will we Americans ever get wise to these tactics?
tagguy100 February 28, 2014 at 09:22 AM
The same way Obama was "outted" with "if you like your plan you can keep it"?

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