By Angelica A. Morrison
This story originally appeared on Great Lakes Today and is republished here with permission.
A new report on the health of the Great Lakes is out this week, and it 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 condition 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.
“We are making progress in certain things … dredging up contaminated sediment is great,” said Jedlicka. “We’ve got great progress on that. There’s 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.
The report 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.