If you live in Canada or the United States and love the Great Lakes, there are lots of ways to get involved. Boating, fishing, swimming, or relaxing at the beach may come to mind. So should making your voice heard.
As governments in the two countries go about their work, they often ask for public comment. And just like wearing a hat when the sun is high in the sky, providing input before major decisions are made at the federal, provincial, state or local level is a good idea.
Just so you don’t get burned and miss an important opportunity, stay tuned to Great Lakes Connection for regular updates like the ones below. They start with the due date, summarize the subject, and include links to more information. Grant proposals and events will sometimes be included.
If you have something to add, post it in the comments section at the end of this article, or send a message to Executive Editor Jeff Kart at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may share it in a future column or help circulate your message on Twitter and Facebook.
Organizations ask for comments from the public because they don’t want to work in a vacuum, with only inside perspectives. You can help them get outside by participating:
Aug. 29 – Canada and the United States are seeking nominations for a second set of candidate chemicals of mutual concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. A first set of chemicals was released recently, and those designated will be targeted for action such as research, monitoring, surveillance and pollution prevention and control. You can make your nominations via this link.
June 25 – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comment on a draft plan to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent by 2025. The draft is Ohio’s plan for implementing an agreement signed in June 2015 by Ohio, Michigan and Ontario leaders. You can comment at epa.ohio.gov.
June 17 – Local governments, schools and nonprofits may be interested in applying for a share of $250,000 in grants from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The money will help develop technology to combat harmful blooms that contain cyanotoxins and can contaminate drinking water. You can find more information here.
July 12 – Also related to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement are comments due on a draft Nearshore Framework for the Great Lakes. The Framework has to do with nearshore waters and bays along the coast of the Great Lakes, connecting river systems and the international section of the St. Lawrence River. It will allow for a comprehensive assessment with a goal to protect water quality and restore degraded areas. Information on how to comment is at binational.net.