U.S., Canada weigh Great Lakes cleanup
When I was a kid growing up in Southern Ontario I was always amazed that we we're allowed to swim in a lake as big as Lake Ontario because of the pollution. What kind of society can poison a body of water that large? It's shameful.
The U.S. and Canadian governments are considering whether to update and strengthen the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which hasn't been significantly revised since 1987. It commits the two countries to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity" of the world's biggest surface freshwater system — a mission that many see as only partly accomplished.
Although the lakes and their major tributaries are less dirty than four decades ago, states continue warning children and women of childbearing age to limit fish consumption because of lingering toxicity. Algae overgrowth and a resulting oxygen-starved "dead zone" in Lake Erie, all but eliminated by the early 1980s, are returning.