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Report: Crisis Looming for the Great Lakes

May 29, 2008

Ann Arbor, MI – The Great Lakes are in trouble, and more than 100 organizations are part of a coalition seeking to underscore the urgency of the situation. The group's new report says the Great Lakes are poised to reach an irrevocable crisis, and they're calling on Congress to protect the lakes, according to Jeff Skelding, national campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

"Aggressive action to curb global warming pollution combined with lake restoration, can mitigate the impacts of a warming climate on the Great Lakes."

The report describes the likely impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes, including increased evaporation from higher temperatures, more "dead zones" where fish and plant life are scarce, and worsening water quality. Skelding says the importance of tough congressional action to mitigate these problems can't be sufficiently stressed.

"The Great Lakes can lessen the impact of global warming, or become global warming's victim - and it all depends on the U.S. Congress."

The report also mentions pollution threats, from such events as sewage overflows caused by more frequent storms, as well as increasing pressure to divert Great Lakes water to other parts of the country that will become more arid. The coalition believes fully funding an existing Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy is an important step, along with federal legislation to slow global warming. Read the report online, at www.healthylakes.org.

Jim Mishler/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - MI