Great lakes pollution
The Great Lakes contain 20% of our planet’s fresh water. At least 40 million Americans depend on these impressive bodies of water for their water supply. The Great Lakes also support many fragile ecosystems and sustain large shipping, fishing and tourism industries that greatly affect the economy and people of its eight surrounding states. These industries are now threatened by invasive species, pollution and low water levels resulting from diversion and increased evaporation. As with many American lakes, our Great Lakes are experiencing increased algae and weed growth. Unrestrained algae growth can sometimes be caused by excessive nutrients. Invasive species often cause devastating declines in the diversity of native species. Discharges from the ballasts of ships entering the Great Lakes contain invasive species such as zebra muscles, spiny water fleas and round gobies. These invaders have damaged the lake’s fishing industry and helped algae flourish. Environmentalists are threatening to sue the EPA for the fourth time since the 90’s to tighten its restrictions on these discharges. They say several technologies exist to treat ballast water including filtration systems and ultraviolet light. The Asian carp is another invasive species that threatens the Great lakes. In 1990, these fish escaped from aquaculture farms into the Mississippi River and worked their way northward, wreaking havoc with the sport fishing industry. Environmentalists warn Asian carp populations have the potential to expand rapidly and change the composition of our Great Lakes ecosystem.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.223 - Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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