The International Joint Commission released a report Tuesday on how the health of the Great Lakes has changed in the past 25 years. The agency, made up of representatives from the U.S. and Canada, advises both countries on issues affecting their shared waterways.
The commission says water quality has improved as a result of “sustained governmental and public efforts.” The report lists some successes, such as a decline in certain types of toxic pollution, and the fact that it appears that no new invasive species have arrived in ballast waters since 2006.
However, the report also catalogs areas of concern. For instance, it says the invasive species that are in the Great Lakes continue to cause problems, and mercury concentrations have risen in some fish species. In addition, the lakes have toxic algae blooms, caused by phosphorous run-off.
The commission says with tight budgets in both the U.S. and Canada, it remains important for the nations to cooperate and coordinate their clean-up efforts.