Wild rice.  Image:  Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation

Fresh funds fuel phragmite fight

Phragmites grow aggressively out-competing natives like bulrushes, cattails and sage plants and now wetland managers want it eradicated and replaced by native species.

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New blog tracks Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement negotiations

Those interested in the Great Lakes now have a new outlet to learn about negotiations regarding the water quality agreement between the U.S. and Canada. Great Lakes United, a coalition of environmental groups and citizens dedicated to protecting and restoring the lakes, has launched a blog, Agreement Watch. It hosts periodic updates of the binational proceedings. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a formal pact between the two governments specifying shared goals and objectives for protecting and restoring Great Lakes water quality. The governments are renegotiating the terms of the agreement to keep up with new threats.

The Great Lakes compact.  Image:  Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Check out midterm report card on Great Lakes Compact

Two and half years after  Great Lakes states agreed to cut down on water diversion and excessive withdrawals from the lakes, the National Wildlife Foundation has  reported on how they’re doing.   The highlights:

Michigan and Wisconsin have the most notable success, passing legislation to cover all aspects of the compact and administering the program. New York and Ohio only recently enacted legislation to comply with the requirements of the Great Lakes Compact.  They deferred to advisory boards for their recommendations. Illinois and Minnesota contend that their statutes and programs are sufficient to control water diversion and withdrawal. They adopted the compact without creating further requirements. Indiana and Pennsylvania created skeletal programs and allowed environmental agencies to fill in the flesh.  They have no detailed programs or rules.