Technology Science - Great Lakes water quality report to be tabled

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The International Joint Commission will issue its 15th biennial report on the quality of Great Lakes water in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday morning.

The International Joint Commission reports on the progress of the governments in restoring the health of the Great Lakes.

John Nevin, from the IJC'S Great Lakes regional office in Windsor, Ont., said the report will table 32 recommendations to Canadian and U.S. governments aimed at improving water quality.

"This report really focuses on an issue that I think is critical to people living both in Windsor and in Detroit, and that is human health," said Nevin. "Is the water that we're drinking healthy, and what can we do to improve the quality of our water?"

Nevin, the IJC'S public affairs advisor, said the document deals with everything from whether it's safe to eat Great Lakes fish to the effects of ineffective waste water treatment. It will also address invasive species, ground water contamination, Asian carp, and the impact of algae blooms on the health of the lakes.

The report urges the two governments, which are currently renegotiating a binational water quality agreement, to include human health language of the agreement to show that the two countries "are committed to improving the quality of the Great Lakes water and protecting human health," Nevin said.

The other highlight in the report includes recommendations to protect public beaches "so that we don't have to end up with beach closures and worrying about getting sick when you go to the beach," said Nevin.

The report is scheduled to be released at 8 a.m. on Wednesday on the Commission's website, and a news conference will follow at 10 a.m. at Wayne State University. Canadian scientists from the IJC's Windsor office will be in attendance.

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