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Published: Sunday, 5/18/2014


Where’s go-to person to help Lake Erie?

Lake Erie’s algae problem keeps getting worse (“Restore the Lakes,” editorial, May 3). To save Lake Erie, the United States and Canada must set reduction goals in each river watershed.

Voluntary efforts are relied on as the solution for Lake Erie. Government and private dollars are scattered in a haphazard way throughout the Lake Erie watershed, with no focus on where the dollars can yield the greatest reductions in algae, phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment.

Drinking water intakes in the western Lake Erie basin are incurring growing amounts of microcystin, a toxin in algae. There are no U.S. standards for microcystin levels, only World Health Organization limits.

Testing of the water is optional. Water-treatment plants do their best. Plans to protect drinking water intakes are old or do not exist.

Who is the go-to person in charge of saving Lake Erie? What are the sources and amounts of nutrients coming into Lake Erie from fertilizer, manure, wastewater, and storm water from each tributary? What are the targets for reduction?

The Great Lakes still have a black eye from when one of its tributaries, the Cuyahoga River, caught fire in 1969. Millions of people who will not be able to drink Lake Erie water, and have no alternative source, will be far worse off.


Executive Director

Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc.


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