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Flying Blind: Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment in the Great Lakes States

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Publication Date: March 2004

Publisher(s): Environmental Integrity Project

Author(s): Stephanie Carnes

Series:

Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation

Topic: Environment (Animals)
Environment (Water, waterways, and water management)
Environment (Pollution and environmental degradation)
Environment (Ocean and ocean resources)

Keywords: enviromental protection; great lakes ; unsafe water

Type: Report

Coverage: Michigan Wisconsin

Abstract:

According to this study, there are many problems with reporting on the conditions of the water in the Great Lakes. For example, it states, two people trying to catch the same fish in the same stretch of the Wabash River would receive different information about whether it was safe to eat what they caught depending on whether they’re on the Illinois side or the Indiana side.

“Flying Blind” called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require more stringent state standards and standardized reporting on the conditions of the Great Lakes and the area’s other lakes, rivers and wetlands.

The report also found that some states do not do enough to inform swimmers if high pathogen counts make water unsafe. In 2002 Wisconsin made no swimming assessment for any of its shoreline (more than 1,000 miles) even though high pathogen counts caused officials to close some beaches. The report also says Michigan allowed people to swim in waters with E. coli counts significantly higher than the EPA’s recommended standards.