Lake health impacts all communities

Imagine shelves empty of bottled water at every store in town. Imagine not being able to swim at the beach without fear of burns or infection.
Aug 20, 2014

Imagine turning on your faucet and knowing that the clear water trickling down into the sink contains deadly toxins.

This scenario turned out to be not so imaginary for residents living along Lake Erie, as the fourth-largest city in Ohio went without lake water after toxic blue-green algae bloomed near Toledo’s water intake pumps.

While you might not concern yourself with what happens a state away, you should. We all should be very, very concerned.

Why? Because it, or something similar, could happen here in Lake Michigan. A similar situation could play out in any of our Great Lakes.

Consider this: The Great Lakes contain 84 percent of North America’s surface fresh water, and 21 percent of the world’s supply. Lake Erie, where blue-green algae has been a continual problem each summer, is the shallowest of these Great Lakes.

Lake Erie, like Lake Michigan, has pollution from farm runoff and industry. These chemicals build up in concentration, and can cause algal blooms and other dangerous chain reactions.

Our lake is deeper and more than twice the size of its sister to the east, but it remains vulnerable.

For years, the EPA and other agencies have attempted to reduce the volume of pollution that reaches our big lake. Agencies have sought buy-in and partnerships with farmers and industrial leaders alike. Our own county has become a statewide leader in pushing for reducing the amount of wastewater dumped into the lake’s watershed system, as well as other ways of improving the water supply.

Why? Because our lake ecosystem is fragile, and so incredibly important to our way of life.

Together we must work to keep fertilizers, chemicals and other pollutants out of our lake to ensure Lake Michigan is pure Michigan. Together we can make an impact.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

gordbzz231

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skyking007

Our water is in danger from fracking, but some people in Michigan don't care. I remember when Pete Hoekstra wanted to drill for oil under Lake Michigan. Isn't it time We started caring about our environment? But as the man says That's alright, we have hot wings and beer !!!

Cherusker

They don't care about the environment. They fix it by eliminating oversight and governance! They just hope they will have a Democrat in office once the oops hits the fan!

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