Keeping the Great Lakes clean
By Nick Cowdrey
News 10 Now
Posted August 18, 2005
Millions of people enjoy Lake Ontario every year, whether
it is at one of the beaches, or on a boat casting out
For decades agencies like the Department of Environmental
Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency have
kept the Great Lakes clean and protected. Now, the lakes
face different problems than they did 30 or 40 years ago.
"Probably the greatest threat facing the Great Lakes
today are invasive species, these are species that for
the most part are brought into the Great Lakes through
large vessels transporting goods from Europe, the far
east,” said Don Zelazny, New York Rivers Unite.
Several groups involved with the Great Lakes formed the
Great Lakes Collaboration. Last month, they drafted a
strategic plan to identify the problems facing the lakes.
It focuses on eight areas including invasive species and
infrastructure which is needed to lower the level of raw
sewage getting into the lake which ultimately causes beaches
to close because of high bacteria levels.
"Everyone is trying to come up with very strategic
plan of what actions are now required to continue the
process, and continue the progress we've made, but to
address the new problems we are learning about,"
A large component to this plan is funding. Several agencies
are working together to figure out how much it will cost
to solve some of the major problems facing the lakes.
On Wednesday the New York Rivers Unite group held a meeting
in Oswego with people who will be involved in implementing
"How can we better prioritize the projects in New
York State, prioritize the efforts and collaborate more
in a comprehensive way to address those issue so we actually
solve problems," said Bruce Carpenter, New York Rivers
When it is finalized all of the stakeholders in the Great
Lakes hope the federal and state government step up to
the plate with funding to put the plan into action.
The state will hold a public meeting about the strategic
plan. The meeting will be Tuesday, August 30th at The
Center For Tomorrow at SUNY Buffalo from 6:30 p.m. until