Dear Friend of Lake Erie,
The algae isn’t blooming but it is a critical time for Western Lake Erie. With the Flint water crisis spotlighting bad drinking water, this issue is on the minds of many of us: A window is open.and time is of the essence.
I’m asking YOU to speak up. The only cost: a bit of your time.
Lucas County Commissioners have recently asked the US EPA to declare Western Lake Erie an impaired body of water and Toledo’s City Council is considering doing the same. These actions may not result in the US EPA declaring the lake impaired, but they’re big voices.
Once the lake is declared “impaired,” the US EPA, authorized by the Clean Water Act, will launch an evaluation process that will:
- Determine the sources and amounts of nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) that are entering the lake. They make algal blooms and poisonous microcystin
- Develop a plan with input from all stakeholders that will determine what to do about it
The process builds consensus. The plan will reduce harmful nutrients at the least cost. It has been used successfully numerous times, notably by Chesapeake Bay and the Fox River, which flows into Green Bay and Lake Michigan.
Here’s what you can do, and it won’t take long:
- Call or write a short message (and recruit others to do the same) to your US Congressional representatives.
- Say you want Lake Erie declared an impaired body of water and the Clean Water Act to begin the repair process.
In Ohio, contact:
Restoring Western Lake Erie and the rivers and streams in its 4-million-acre watershed to health will take many years. This is the most expedient way to do so.
With sincere gratitude,
Lake Erie Waterkeeper