On Tuesday, Senators Durbin and Kirk introduced legislation to help control pollution into the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Water Protection Act would increase pollution fines over the next 20 years ending with fines as high as $100,000. The delay is to allow municipalities and others to upgrade their sewage systems to compliance. The money from fines would be set aside into a Great Lakes Clean-Up Fund to help Great Lakes states with habitat protection and wastewater management.
Read the full press release here.
This is a really important step that reminds us that while invasive species get a lot of press there are many other threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Pollution effects ecosystems, closes beaches, and kills fish ever year. If we protect our waters from invasives only to heavily pollute them it won't make any difference. This is a great reminder that protecting the Great Lakes must be a multi-pronges approach that considers all threats.