International pact to protect the Great Lakes to be renewed

U.S. and Canada to renew pact to protect the Great Lakes

A 40 year old pact between the U.S. And Canada to protect the Great Lakes is about to get an update.

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was first signed in 1972 and last amended in 1987. In the pact, dozens of highly contaminated areas needing cleanup are identified. It also calls for reducing toxic pollution and levels of nutrients that cause algae blooms. Algae blooms in Lake Erie have been an issue in our area for several years.

Although there has been progress, officials and activists say the lakes face new threats. The updated agreement will include sections on invasive species such as Asian carp, restoring native species and habitat, and preparing coastal communities for climate change.

Last week officials reported that water samples taken from Sandusky bay and the Sandusky river tested positive for the DNA of asian carp.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson and Canada's environment minister, Peter Kent, will sign the new deal today at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)