Cutbacks ‘enormous challenge’ to Great Lakes – Ontario News

Cutbacks ‘enormous challenge’ to Great Lakes – Ontario News

The International Joint Commission’s draft report of Great Lakes water quality identified several areas of concerns, such as algae growth and phosphorus infiltrating the water system from farm land.

But there is another challenge threatening the Great Lakes that Lana Pollack hasn’t overlooked.

“The issue of governance is of enormous concern, regardless of whether you’re in Canada or the United States,” said Pollack, chair of the IJC’s United States Section. “Each country at different times depending on who the government is maybe more environmentally supportive or less. And that is like a teeter-totter because we’ve seen it go both ways.”

But recent environmental cuts on the U.S. side of the border has again tilted the teeter-totter.

“Do we have concerns about what’s happening in the United States now? Of course we do,” Pollack said during an interview, while attending a public meeting on the Great Lakes held at the St. Catharines Rowing Club, Wednesday.

“We recognize that the money that’s been invested in the last three years — at minimum it’s been $300 million a year — in the Great Lakes Recovery Initiative,” Pollack said. “But that’s only part of the money that the government has put in.”

She said additional funding is earmarked for Great Lakes protection through the Environmental Protection Agency budget.

“All of that has been wiped out — maybe,” she added.

But through public interest in the quality and protection of the Great Lakes — demonstrated through the near capacity attendance at the public meeting in St. Catharines — as well as the previous five meetings held throughout…

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