Agreement will protect the health of the largest freshwater system in
WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P.
Jackson and Canada's Minister of the Environment Peter Kent today
signed the newly amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement at a
formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. First signed in 1972 and last
amended in 1987, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a model of
binational cooperation to protect the world's largest surface
freshwater system and the health of the surrounding communities.
"Protecting cherished water bodies like the Great Lakes is not only
about environmental conservation. It's also about protecting the health
of the families—and the economies—of the local communities that depend
on those water bodies for so much, every day," said Lisa P. Jackson.
"The amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement we signed today
outlines the strong commitment the U.S. and Canada share to safeguard
the largest freshwater system in the world. Our collaborative efforts
stand to benefit millions of families on both sides of the border."
"Joint stewardship of the Great Lakes—a treasured natural resource, a
critical source of drinking water, essential to transportation, and the
foundation for billions of dollars in trade, agriculture, recreation
and other sectors—is a cornerstone of the Canada-United States
relationship," said Minister Kent. "The Great Lakes Water Quality
Agreement supports our shared responsibility to restore and protect
this critical resource, and builds on 40 years of binational success."
The revised Agreement will facilitate United States and Canadian action
on threats to Great Lakes water quality and includes strengthened
measures to anticipate and prevent ecological harm. New provisions
address aquatic invasive species, habitat degradation and the effects
of climate change, and support continued work on existing threats to
people's health and the environment in the Great Lakes Basin such as
harmful algae, toxic chemicals, and discharges from vessels.
The overall purpose of the Agreement is "to restore and maintain the
chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters" of the Great
Lakes and the portion of the St. Lawrence River that includes the
Canada-United States border. Both governments sought extensive input
from stakeholders before and throughout the negotiations to amend the
Agreement. Additionally, the amended Agreement expands opportunities
for public participation on Great Lakes issues.
The amended Agreement sets out a shared vision for a healthy and
prosperous Great Lakes region, in which the waters of the Great Lakes
enhance the livelihoods of present and future generations of Americans
For more information and to view backgrounders on this announcement,
please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
United States Environmental
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
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(Également offert en français)