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Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan now available

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Mary Mears 212-637-3669


FOR RELEASE:  June 1, 1998

(#98064) NIAGARA FALLS, NY--Lake Ontario, with its abundant natural
resources and physical attractions, is a vital centre for the almost eight
million Canadians and Americans who live within its basin.  The
protection of this splendid inland lake is an ongoing concern of the
governments of Canada and the United States (U.S.), Ontario and New
York State who, today, released to the public the Lakewide Management
Plan (LaMP) Stage 1 report for Lake Ontario.

The Stage 1 report was developed by Environment Canada, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment, and the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (the Four Parties) in partnership with people concerned
about Lake Ontario.  A draft document was circulated for public comment
during the spring of 1997.  A series of 10 public meetings were held in
New York State and Ontario to discuss the draft with interested
members of the public.

The LaMP Stage I Report identifies lakewide environmental problems and
outlines a follow-up action plan.  Problems identified include:   loss of
natural habitat for fish/wildlife,  restrictions on eating some fish/wildlife,
degradation of wildlife populations, and bird or animal deformities or
reproductive problems.  The goal is a healthy Lake Ontario basin that
contains thriving fish and wildlife populations and that basin residents
can enjoy to the fullest extent.

U.S. EPA Regional Administrator, Jeanne M. Fox said, "This report
reflects the critical challenges our two countries must address if we are
to make further progress in our efforts to rehabilitate the Lake Ontario
aquatic ecosystem.  It is an important step in the process of meeting our
long-term goal of restoring all the beneficial uses of the lake, such as,
boating, swimming and eating Lake Ontario fish."

Environment Canada Regional Director General, Ontario Region, John
Mills, said, "Opportunities for continued public consultation and
involvement in this binational program are ongoing in our efforts to
restore and protect Lake Ontario.  The release of the Stage 1 report
represents an important milestone in the LaMP process, as it provides the
basis for further consultation in order to develop binational strategies to
resolve lakewide issues."

In 1987, the U.S. and Canadian federal governments committed to
developing a LaMP for each of the five Great Lakes.  The purpose of a
Lakewide Management Plan is to identify environmental problems and
necessary actions to restore and protect the Great Lakes.  LaMPs are
developed in four stages: defining environmental problems, identifying
activities to reduce pollution; selecting actions and documenting
environmental improvements. 

The Four Parties will be continuing actions to track down sources of
pollution around Lake Ontario and restore natural habitats.  These actions
will be done, whenever possible, in partnership with groups and
organizations interested in improving Lake Ontario's resources.  New
information about Lake Ontario and progress of the LaMP will be made
public by mailings, news articles and during annual public meetings.

Copies of the Stage 1 LaMP are available by calling Environment Canada
(905) 336-4552 or USEPA (716) 285-8842.  The document is also
available on the following Internet web site: Lake Ontario LaMP 

For further information, please contact:

Barbara Spinweber/Janette Anderson
United States Environmental Protection Agency/Environment Canada
(212) 637-3848/(905) 336-6277

Richard Draper/Fred Fleischer
NYSDEC/ Ontario Ministry of the
(518) 457-1158/(416) 235-6222

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