Pollution in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are a valuable resource to the residents that border them.  The lakes provide transportation, drinking water, recreation, and fish.   Lake Erie is the shallowest and warmest Great Lake, leaving it subject eutrophication due to excess nutrient inputs.  In the 1960s and 1970s, Lake Erie suffered eutrophic events due to phosphates in laundry detergent and sewage inputs.  The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was signed by the United States and Canada in 1972 to reduce the amount of phosphorous input in Lake Erie.  The agreement succeeded and algal biomass decreased.  However, in the 1990s eutrophic events increased once again; this time due to fertilizer run off from farming combined with increased global temperatures.  

In my paper, I will relate my topic of eutrophication in the Great Lakes to following topics:

  •  Artificial fertilizer and the Agricultural Revolution (Steinberg chp 12)
  • The American lawn and fertilizer use (chp 13)
  • 1970’s Climate legislation (chp 15)
  • Global climate change (chp 16)

The thesis of my paper is: Despite the benefits from The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, stricter regulations regarding fertilizer use need to be implemented to decrease eutrophic events in Lake Erie.  The purpose of this site is to demonstrate how my primary and secondary sources support my thesis.