In a demonstration of the usefulness of having an embassy in another country, Canada and the USA have renewed a pact to protect the Great Lakes. This is a good thing as the Great Lakes need more protection and better environmental care from both sides of the border. The pact also implies a reversal of the destructive anti-science policies that the Canadian government has had this past year.
The updated Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement binds both nations to continue a cleanup and restoration initiative begun when the freshwater seas were a symbol of ecological decay. Many of their beaches were littered with foul algae blooms and dead fish. The Cuyahoga River, which flows into Lake Erie in Cleveland, was so choked with oil and chemicals that flames erupted on its surface in 1969.
The pact calls for further action on problems that inspired the original agreement three years after the embarrassing river fire and a second version in 1987. It pledges to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity” of the five lakes and the portion of the St. Lawrence River on the U.S.-Canadian border.