Tell the Ontario and federal governments to tackle algal blooms on the Great Lakes
Algal blooms on the Great Lakes threaten drinking water, clog intake pipes, and deter tourists from visiting shoreline communities. The worst algal bloom ever recorded on Lake Erie happened in 2015. If the blooms continue to increase in frequency and size, there could be public health impacts, more beach closures, more dead fish washing onto shores, and reduced property values.
Reducing the amount of phosphorus making its way into the Great Lakes is the key to stopping algal blooms. We need to take immediate action to protect and restore these bodies of water that hold nearly 20 per cent of the world’s available surface freshwater. The phosphorus reduction targets set by the Canadian and U.S. governments in early 2016 were a good first step. But more work needs to be done to ensure these targets are met.
You can help by asking the Minster of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, to prioritize action on algal blooms in the following ways:
- Create incentives to help farmers reduce nutrient runoff
- Monitor and collect more data to better understand why blooms happen on Lake Erie and how they can most effectively be stopped
- Commit to and implement action plans to reduce phosphorous loading into the lakes.