The North American Great Lakes are the most extensive freshwater system on the planet. Their surrounding watersheds and tributary rivers are essential living infrastructure that protect the drinking water supply for 40 million people. Unfortunately, the Great Lakes are suffering from numerous threats, including stormwater pollution, sewage overflows, harmful algal blooms, invasive species, destruction of headwater streams, water diversions, and budget cuts that have restricted the critical protection of this basin.
Eight Waterkeeper organizations work to protect more than 30,000 square miles of waterways throughout the Great Lakes region by speaking out and standing up for clean water and healthy communities. These Waterkeepers take action at the local level through cleanups, restoration projects, water quality monitoring, advocacy, and education.
Right now, we need your help to strengthen protections and improve the management of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are too vital a resource to be an afterthought. We must take effective action to ensure that their waters:
- Are a source of safe, high-quality drinking water for all communities that depend on them;
- Allow for swimming and other recreational use, unrestricted by environmental quality concerns;
- Allow for human consumption of fish and wildlife, unrestricted by concerns due to harmful pollutants;
- Are free of pollutants that could be harmful to human health, wildlife, or other living things;
- Support healthy and productive wetlands and other habitats to sustain healthy populations of native species;
- Are free from excessive nutrients in amounts that promote excessive algal growth and cyanobacteria that threaten human health;
- Are free from the introduction and spread of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species;
- Are free from the harmful impacts of contaminated groundwater;
- Are free from other substances, materials, and conditions that may negatively impact the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes; and
- Are conserved and protected against unsustainable or harmful uses and diversions.
The future of the Great Lakes depends on activists like you calling for drinkable, fishable, swimmable water for future generations. We need your voice to ensure that this vision for the lakes becomes a reality. Sign up below to get more information from the Great Lakes Waterkeepers today and learn more about how you can take a stand for our Great Lakes!