The Alliance’s 2017 Great Lakes Action Agenda calls on lawmakers to support efforts by state and federal agencies to protect public health by reducing runoff that pollutes our drinking water. Our agenda calls for the adoption of clear, measurable standards for limiting pollution to prevent toxic algal blooms in the lakes.

Fertilizer and manure runoff from big agriculture fuels massive harmful, and at times toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie and other parts the Great Lakes. This poses a significant threat to the region’s drinking water, public safety, quality of life and economic well-being. Stronger rules are needed to limit runoff pollution.


Urgent action is needed to protect Lake Erie

In August 2014 nearly a half-million people in communities around western Lake Erie lost their drinking water, ranging from two days to over a week, as a result of toxic algae. Algal blooms are also a problem in other parts of the Great Lakes including Green Bay, Wisconsin and Saginaw Bay, Michigan.


2017 Great Lakes Action Agenda – Nutrient Runoff Priorities

Algal blooms threaten drinking water, recreation and the regional economy that tens of million of people rely on. In the coming year:

  • The US and Canada along with the western Lake Erie states and province will release draft Domestic Action Plans under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. These plans must provide assurances that they achieve the 40% reduction in phosphorus flowing to western Lake Erie committed to by the jurisdictions.  
  • The Great Lakes states and U.S. EPA must adopt clear and measurable targets and standards, including a TMDL (total maximum daily load), for phosphorus and nitrogen pollution for the western Lake Erie basin.