Report: Great Lakes deteriorating

December 9, 2005

A coalition of environmental groups released a report in Washington saying the Great Lakes are deteriorating at an unprecedented rate.

Healing Our Waters -- Great Lakes Coalition said the ecosystem is in danger of collapse and deteriorating at a rate unprecedented in their recorded history, the Detroit News reported Friday.

"Years ago when they did a study of Lake Erie they detected pollution along the shore, but they didn't pay much attention to it," said Alfred Beeton, former acting chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington. "Over the years the conditions that were near shore spread across the lake and the entire lake became polluted. So this could happen with other lakes, too."

The report, released Thursday, was made in anticipation of the federal government releasing a plan Monday expected to earmark $5 billion for Great Lakes cleanup over a 10-year period.

Critics say that funding level is far too little to curb the problems of sewage overflows, pollutants and invasive species.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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