Pollution Plaguing The Great Lakes

A major problem that is having devastating effects on the Great Lakes is the level of water pollution that exists; currently there are 362 different contaminants that have been identified. This is a major problem because of the size of the waterways and also because of the difficulty that we have in reversing the pollution. It takes over 100 years for the water in the great lakes to completely cycle to get rid of the contaminants. This makes it crucial that we act quickly to ensure that the water in the lakes continues to remain safe. There are many reasons for the water pollution that we are finding in the Great Lakes. The largest contributor being that people have used the lakes as a dumping site for agricultural, industrial, and domestic wastes since the 1970s. The pollutants in the water lead not only to problems with the water quality and the amount of water that we are able to consume, but it is also having devastating effects on the lives of the wildlife that live in the great lakes environment. The pollution that exists in the lakes has been shown to interfere with the reproduction of birds, and lake trout in lake Michigan just to name a few. The most troubling part of the pollution in the great lakes for me is the fact that humans are almost entirely to blame for these problems; however this can also be seen as a good problem to have because there are steps that can be taken towards reducing the amount of waste that humans contribute.  There are many things that we can do in order to decrease the amount of contamination that is being released into the great lakes, however the government may need to take action in order to solve the issue. There are already several pieces of legislation that have been passed, however the implementation of tighter restrictions on the contamination levels would lead to a change for the better.

Eric Allman

Sources:

http://www.mrfrere.com/tok/water/science.htm

http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/pollution/water/water2.html

 

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4 responses

  1. I like the facts that you use throughout your post, it makes the issue seem real and important that it should be addressed as a harm to the Great Lakes. I also appreciate the acknowledgment of the lakes being used as a dumping site for wastes, because in my home town there was a problem with the dumping of PCBs in a local river near neighborhoods and schools.
    Hannah DeZeeuw

  2. I found the topic you picked really interesting. I did not know that pollution in the Great Lakes affects the reproduction of birds and lake trout. I like that you stated that you feel humans are mostly to blame for the pollution, because I feel the same way.
    Makenzi Mantey

  3. The numbers you used in your post really helped make your point. I had no idea that there were 362 different contaminants and that it takes over 100 years to complete the cycle to get rid of them. I agree with your prevention//mitigation strategy, I like that it’s realistic, but hopeful.

    Bonnie Lowry

  4. I agree that humans are mostly to blame for this situation. I had no idea it could take 100 years for the water to rid itself of contaminants. The government definitely needs to step in and try to find ways to monitor what is being dumped into the great lakes. Another strategy that could help is to have a hotline for citizens to call and report any suspicious activities they come across where things are being dumped into the water.

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