Lake Erie, photo by Lloyd DeGrane

It’s a big year for the Alliance as we mark our 50th anniversary.

From a tiny but influential startup called the Lake Michigan Federation, the Alliance for the Great Lakes has grown into a leading voice for the protection of the Great Lakes and for all the ways that people and wildlife are dependent on them.

While we have much to be proud of, nostalgia can blind us to fresh opportunities for growing the Great Lakes movement and stifle innovation. So, as we celebrate, we also ask “What’s next, and how can we do better?”

To help answer that question, we commissioned author and journalist Kari Lydersen to look at the Great Lakes and clean water issues that have shaped our region. The stories and in-depth interviews she gathered challenge us to look forward to a Great Lakes movement that’s ready to ensure our lakes are safe, clean, and accessible to all.

Pollution from Point Source to Nonpoint Source

A half-century ago, legislation began to reduce dumping by heavy industry into the Great Lakes. Sewage is another prime source of point source pollution, one we are still tackling. Now nonpoint source pollution — runoff from fields, livestock operations and cities — is the most troubling.

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