More than 100 scientists gathered recently at the University of Windsor in Ontario to discuss Lake Erie's somewhat fragile health. And keynote speaker Dr. Jeff Reutter delivered a sober warning about proposals to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Reutter, special advisor for the Ohio Sea Grant program, said the proposed legislation is a major threat to the lake. “If we lose the EPA, we lose Lake Erie,” he said.
Detroit Public Television covered the meeting and has a complete report, including Reutter's concerns about nutrient loading from agricultural runoff and other sources. Resulting algae blooms can threaten drinking water, and the EPA is needed to protect the lake, he said.
Scott Pruitt, President Trump's pick to head the EPA, says that "protecting a strong and healthy environment is among the lifeblood priorities for the government, and EPA is vital to that mission."
But while attorney general in Oklahoma, Pruitt was involved in a number of lawsuits aimed at limiting the EPA's power. So environmental advocates are nervous.
Scientists also discussed research on climate change, algal blooms, invasive species and other issues at the 8th Binational Meeting of the Lake Erie Millennium Network.