Last Friday, 40 years after “the death of Lake Erie,” Peter Kent, Canada’s environment minister, and Lisa P. Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator signed an updated Great Lakes Accord.
According to the NY Times:
“Swaths of green scum regularly choked Lake Erie’s shallow western basin during the 1950’s and 60’s as phosphorus from farms, sewage and industry along the Rust Belt’s shoreline fertilized algal blooms. Regulations limiting phosphorus improved the situation steadily starting in the 1970’s, but 2011 saw perhaps the worst bloom yet.” (pictured below – photo acquired by Landsat-5 satellite October 5, 2011)
New goal from the accord include:
- Revamping coastal clean up efforts
- Reducing phosphorus run off in Lake Erie
- Address issues of evaporation due to higher temperatures
- Taking action against ships dumping ballast in the lakes, and therefore invasive species
Sailors for the Sea would like to encourage recreational boater to take action on their own vessels. By using non toxic cleaning products at home, and on your boat you can help reduce phosphorus. Also washing your hull and propeller thoroughly before transporting your boat can help reduce the spread of invasive species.