The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a federal agreement between the United States and Canada that aims to protect and restore the ecological health of the Great Lakes. The treaty was first signed in 1972 and has been revised multiple times since then to reflect changing environmental conditions and priorities.
In the most recent revision of the agreement, which was signed in 2012, the United States and Canada committed to several actions to improve the quality of the water in the Great Lakes. These actions include reducing harmful algal blooms, reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the lakes, and improving the management of toxic substances.
The agreement also recognizes the importance of engaging with local communities and stakeholders in efforts to protect the Great Lakes. Both the United States and Canada have committed to working with indigenous communities, stakeholders, and local governments to promote greater understanding of the environmental issues facing the region. This includes working together to develop and implement plans to improve water quality and reduce pollution.
One of the key programs established under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This initiative provides funding for projects aimed at protecting and restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem. Since its inception in 2010, the initiative has provided over $3 billion in funding for more than 4,700 projects across the region.
Despite the efforts of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, there is still much work to be done to protect and restore the ecological health of the Great Lakes. New threats such as climate change and emerging contaminants like microplastics and pharmaceuticals must be addressed in order to ensure the long-term health of the region.
In conclusion, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is an important federal initiative that aims to protect and restore the ecological health of the Great Lakes. Through the commitment of the United States and Canada to working together and engaging with local communities and stakeholders, there is hope that the health of the Great Lakes can be restored for generations to come.