Threats to Lake Erie

People really like Lake Erie. Every summer, Lake Erie towns swell with beachgoers, hikers, fishers, boaters and more. We all want one thing: to spend time in and around this great lake. 

But our way of life is threatened. Toxic and harmful algae blooms, sewage spills, and plastics pollution are plaguing Lake Erie and its river systems. 

Already, these issues have forced communities in the watershed to restrict access to drinking water and close beaches. Wildlife and fish are suffering. The fishing and tourism industries are suffering.

Scientists predicting that 2019 will be another bad year for algae in Lake Erie. If these forecasts come true, beaches could close for days, weeks or longer. 

These are not small problems. But they can be addressed.

Did you know in the 1969, Time Magazine proclaimed that Lake Erie was dead? Industrial pollution and raw sewage were being dumped into the Lake Erie and rivers and streams that flow into it. But citizen action prompted governments on both sides of the border to make major changes to policy. It became illegal to dump untreated wastewater directly into the water. We started investing a lot of resources into cleaning up Lake Erie. Soon, Lake Erie became a place where we could once again swim and play in and around! 

We did it before, and we can do it again!

But, let's not wait until it is so bad that we have to proclaim Lake Erie dead, and can't enjoy the lake for years before its waters are unsafe for people and wildlife. We need engaged Lake Erie citizens to make sure our governments are taking care of our shared waters.

That's why we're doing the #LakeErieChallenge! We need to raise attention to these issues and get people involved in solution. We hope you will join us. 

Learn more about the threats to Lake Erie:

Latest news:

Dogs die after exposure to toxic algae this August.

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