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Coastal Centre concerned about plastic pollution in Lake Huron
Owen Sound Sun Times (7/17)
Everyone has a role to play in turning the tide on the growing problem of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. That's the message from Ontario's Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation outreach specialist, who is working to educate people on simple ways to help combat the issue.

Elementary Adventure Day outing provides hands-on fun
The Ashland Daily Press (7/12)
Just over half-a-dozen youngsters gathered at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, in Wisconsin, to participate in the first of this year’s three 4-H Elementary Adventure Day’s.

Summer interns help to research Lake Erie issues
The Toledo Blade (7/5)
Eleven college and university students from across the United States are studying freshwater lake issues this summer at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center.

Anglers enlisted in water fight
Great Lakes Echo (6/29)
A recent study by researchers at Cornell University, in N.Y., revealed that anglers in the Great Lakes region are aware of and concerned about the threat of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Lake State opens Sea Grant office
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News (6/29)
Lake Superior State University officially welcomed its new Michigan Sea Grant office to campus with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.

Stone Lab hosts series of experts to discuss lake
Port Clinton News Herald (6/28)
In Ohio, people looking to learn more about the issues facing Lake Erie will have several opportunities this summer to hear firsthand from the experts in the field who deal with those issues every day.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
TEACH Areas of Concern

2 | Pollution...

Before we get into the individual Great Lakes AOCs, let's talk about pollution. AOCs are affected by all kinds of different forms of pollution, although there are some similarities.

Did you ever think that dirt could be a pollutant? Dirt is a conventional pollutant, and while it's not dangerous in itself, large amounts, often coming from agriculture, forestry, and construction industries, can make water unusable for drinking and swimming, and can destroy fragile aquatic life. Excess dirt also leads to stream sedimentation, altering the stream's flow and choking out aquatic life.

Cuyahoga River. Acid Rain
Airborne toxic contaminants, such as car emissions and the burning of other fossil fuels, can enter the atmosphere and come back down to the land in the form of acid rain (see the hydrologic cycle). Atmospheric deposition is believed to cause about 90% of Great Lakes toxins.

Heavy Metals
Although heavy metals are naturally found in the earth's crust, these chemicals have been used for pesticides and in industrial processes, and prolonged exposure can cause deadly health effects. Heavy metals, such as DDT, dioxins and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), can contaminate drinking water and accumulate in animal tissue, such as the fish you eat (see fish consumption advisories).

Wastewater and sewage
Wastewater, often produced by industries, and sewage are usually treated in a wastewater treatment facility, and then safely released back into a water body through a point source. However, wastewater and sewage can enter water bodies untreated, such as during a strong rainstorm that causes combined sewer overflows, and the bacteria contained in these discharges, such as E. coli and heavy metals, can be deadly.

Contaminated Runoff
When it rains or the snow melts, water runs over land, picking up anything on the ground and this runoff, also called nonpoint source pollution, eventually finds its way into water bodies. Contaminated runoff comes from a variety of sources, such as the agricultural, mining, and forestry industries and contaminated soil erosion. Runoff can also contribute to adding excess nutrients to water, leading to eutrophication.

Households (you!)
Did you know that when you water your lawn or wash your car, you could be contributing to water pollution? Check out what you can do to prevent water pollution. And just for kids!

... and solutions!

Remedial Action Plans (RAPs)
A RAP is made for each individual AOC by identifying the source of pollution and the beneficial use impairments, and then establishing plans for the cleanup effort.

Lakewide Management Plan (LaMPs)
LaMPs are focused on the ecosystem health of an individual Great Lake as a whole, rather than on just an area of concern.

Government, public, and private entities work together to form both RAPs and LaMPs, and the International Joint Commission (IJC) is charged with reviewing these programs.

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