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Diverse Groups Ask For More Protection For Great Lakes

Feb 1, 2016

Business, government and environmental activists are asking authorities to take more steps to protect the health of Lake Erie. Jim Letizia reports.  

Environmental activists are asking Toledo City Council to take a more active role in Lake Erie's toxic algae problems. They want council to pass a resolution urging the U.S. EPA to declare the lake "impaired," a move that would set limits on the amount of algae-causing phosphorus in the water. EPA officials say such limits are already in place.  In the summer of 2014, the city enacted a three day drinking water ban after detecting toxins from lake algae in the system. Meanwhile, advocacy groups want President Obama to support further study of long-term measures to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from migrating between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. A 30-member panel representing governments, businesses and environmentalists has sought a regional agreement on how to close aquatic pathways in the Chicago area linking the two water systems without damaging shipping and recreation. The Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee is asking the administration for a study of "control points" such as specially designed locks that would let boats to move back and forth while stopping fish, mussels and other live organisms from doing likewise. The study would be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would make recommendations to Congress and other officials.