New Government Report Says Lake Erie's Health is Deterioriating

Jun 21, 2017

Credit Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality

A new report on the health of the Great Lakes shows a grim outlook for Lake Erie.

The Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality says Lake Erie’s general health is in poor and deteriorating -- due to problems like harmful algae blooms.

The Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has been working for more than a decade to restore the watershed. Executive Director Jill Jedlicka says that even though progress has been made, Lake Erie seems to be going in the wrong direction. 

"Dredging up contaminated sediment is great," said Jedlicka. "We’ve got great progress on that. There are several localized projects where we’re improving things here and there. But, when you look at the collective of this entire lake, it’s sometimes feels like it’s one step forward and two steps back."

The report doesn’t mention a related issue -- President Trump’s 2018 budget plan. It would make drastic cuts at the EPA, and eliminate $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Another issue surfaced in the report --- invasive species.  It says that Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Ontario are doing very poorly when it comes to invasive fish, plants and mussels.

Lake Erie is doing slightly better on that front. 

The report, a collaboration between the EPA and Environment and Climate Change Canada, supports the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.