Lake Erie, July 28, 2015. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens)

Lake Erie Action Plan Needs More Input

The upper levels of government have a draft plan in place aimed at reducing algae growth in Lake Erie — but they need your help to finish it.

Environment Canada’s Great Lakes Program Coordinator Sandra George says the provincial and federal governments put the document together with the goal of reducing phosphorus runoff and algae blooms, specifically.

It will be presented at the John D Bradley Centre in Chatham at 6:30pm Thursday night.

After that presentation, government officials will be looking for feedback from local residents on whether they think the plan is missing anything.

George says they are also looking to take on more partners to help them out.

“If there are folks in the room that represent different sectors — from the municipal sector or the agricultural sector — that would have actions to contribute to the plan, they could put those forward and get those included,” says George. “Really the focus is getting people acquainted with the problem, talking about the plan, and getting people’s thoughts on it.”

While farmers tend to get most of the blame for the run-off, George says everyone can help to make a difference.

“You can be mindful of the types of soaps, detergents, and lawn fertilizers that you use,” says George. “Some of those fertilizers still have phosphorous in them, but some don’t, so use phosphorus-free products.”

Canada and the U.S. have committed to finalize their action plans for Lake Erie by February 2018.