| | | |

Ted Arnott On The Importance Of The Great Lakes

Ted Arnott MPP
Ted Arnott, MPP

We in Ontario have been blessed in so many ways‎ that we sometimes overlook how fortunate we truly are.

‎Our proximity to the Great Lakes is a case in point.

Containing one-fifth of the world's surface freshwater, Dr. Val Klump of the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences says it's a
misnomer to call the Great Lakes "lakes." He says it's more accurate to call them
"inland seas."

Given their vast relative size, he makes a good point. 

Throughout our history, Lakes‎ Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario have
been critical to our economy and the development of two countries: Canada and
the United States. 

They have been important commercial shipping lanes, a source of fish for food, a
place for recreation, and have helped to create a climate that makes the Niagara
grape and wine industry possible. Most importantly, they are a source of safe
drinking water for millions.

Great Lakes

Each of the Great Lakes is a complex eco-system which requires ‎ongoing study
and effective international management. 

Threats to the Great Lakes have included pollution, unsafe run-off and discharge,
invasive species like the sea lamprey and the zebra mussel, overfishing, and
large-scale diversion proposals. Overconsumption could also be a problem, as
the lakes are naturally replenished by just 1 percent of their volume annually.

We must continue to confront these challenges, work together with our
neighbouring states, provinces, municipalities and government agencies, ‎and
protect the Great Lakes. 

While we need concerted cooperation, we do not need new layers of
bureaucracy which duplicate what we already have and do little but re-study what
we already know. We can do more by enforcing existing laws and regulations,
and holding governments accountable.

With increasing world-wide concern about climate change and the need to
protect the long term future of abundant and safe water, we should all be aware
of how important the Great Lakes are to our quality of life, and how important
they will continue to be in the coming years.


Earlier this month, I was privileged to attend the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus
2016 Annual Meeting, which was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.‎ There I joined
elected state and provincial colleagues from the Mid-West area for a discussion
of Great Lakes issues and concerns. 

I learned a "Great" deal, and also made a joint presentation to the conference on
Ontario's experience with aquaculture (sometimes known as "fish farming") with
a representative of the State of Michigan.


‎While the Ontario Legislature is currently in summer recess, my staff and I
continue to work on your behalf in our Wellington-Halton Hills Provincial Riding

In addition, I look forward to our many summer events and celebrations.
Enjoy a safe and fun summer!


Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott welcomes your comments. He can be
reached at 1-800- 265-2366. His website address is www.tedarnottmpp.com.

Leave a Reply