TORONTO — A coalition of environmental groups is urging governments to do more to clean up and protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
A report, entitled Great Lakes Blueprint, says with half of all Canadians depending on the Great Lakes and their tributaries for drinking water, Canadian funding to protect the resource is grossly inadequate.
Derek Stack, director of Great Lakes United, says the U.S. has proposed spending $20 billion for Great Lakes clean-up and has already taken concrete action on many fronts.
Aaron Freeman, the policy director of Environmental Defence, adds that U.S. efforts to clean and protect the Great Lakes are “eclipsing Canada’s meagre commitments.”
The coalition says cities continue to dump untreated sewage into the Great Lakes in enormous quantities and Canadian industries emit far more pollutants into the air than their American counterparts.
In addition, says the coalition, ocean-going vessels are responsible for at least 65 per cent of the more than 180 invasive species now wreaking havoc on Great Lakes native species.