As we celebrate World Water Day, I send my sympathy to the volunteers, not for profit organizations, and various levels of government who have worked tirelessly to improve the water quality in the Great Lakes.
If U.S. President Trump’s proposal to slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is successful, corporations will be once again granted full license to pollute. Currently, $300 million in funding flows through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to combat invasive species, algal blooms and clean up chemical hot spots in the Great Lakes. President Trump has proposed to cut this to $0.
The Great Lakes provide 21% of the world’s fresh surface water, and drinking water for 40 million people in Canada and the U.S. This fresh water supports 40% of Canada’s economic activity. In 2013, Canadian Geographic illustrated labeled Lake Ontario as the most stressed of our Great Lakes. In Ajax, we understand all too well the importance of clean water as we battle increased algae growth on our near shore.
This naturally connected resource also connects Canada and the U.S. through a Bi-National Agreement to restore and maintain the integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem. This agreement sets the framework for the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Quality and Lake Wide Management Plans.
At a time when our drinking water continues to see emerging threats such as algae blooms, increased nutrient loadings, invasive species, new chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals, and climate change, how long will it take us to recover from these cuts…and at what cost?
(PACT-POW) Pickering Ajax Citizens Together Protecting our Water
Councillor Ward 3