WSW: Does Great Lakes Restoration Need Focus?

Aug 4, 2014

South Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan
Credit WMUK

In a recent essay for Great Lakes Echo, commentator Gary Wilson wonders if there isn't a better way to approach Great Lakes restoration.

Wilson told WMUK's Gordon Evans that stories about water got him thinking about management issues. He says the drought in California and water service being shut off to customers in Detroit show how important water can be, and why it needs to be managed well. 

But Wilson says federal restoration efforts in the Great Lakes are "a mile wide and an inch deep." He says there are no real federal programs to tackle an issue such as the dumping of sewage into the Great Lakes. Wilson says part of the problem is that there are 17 different federal agencies, plus state and local governments with a hand in the issue. 

There are also many different issues demanding attention. That includes algae blooms, toxic hot spots and invasive species such as Asian Carp. But Wilson says results might be better if there were more concentrated efforts on a smaller number of issues. 

Great Lakes Echo has published another essay from Todd Ambs, Campaign Director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. He takes issue with Wilson's claims, and says there has been significant progress on Great Lakes restoration. 

The interview with Gary Wilson was recorded before algae blooms caused a water ban in Toledo, Ohio over the weekend. Wilson explains why it shouldn't be a surprise