Transcript: Making the Great Lakes Great Again | Feb 02, 2021

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "Making the Great Lakes great again. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THEY ARE AS OLD AS THE HILLS, AND THE SOURCE OF WORK, PLAY AND, MOST CRITICALLY PERHAPS, DRINKING WATER TO MILLIONS. THE GREAT LAKES SPAN AN INTERNATIONAL BORDER AND SEVERAL OTHER JURISDICTIONAL BOUNDARIES. AS SUCH, THERE IS AN INEVITABLE JUGGLING ACT AS GOVERNING BODIES IN THOSE PLACES COME AND GO. NOW, WITH A VERY DIFFERENT PRESIDENT IN POWER IN THE U.S., WE THOUGHT IT A GOOD TIME TO CHECK IN ON THIS VITAL CORRIDOR THAT JOINS OUR TWO NATIONS. AND FOR THAT, LET'S WELCOME: IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: MOLLY FLANAGAN, SHE'S COO AT THE ALLIANCE FOR THE GREAT LAKES, THAT'S A NONPARTISAN NON-PROFIT ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION...

Molly is in her thirties, with long straight red hair. She's wearing a red sweater.

Steve continues IN CORNWALL, ONTARIO: HENRY LICKERS, BIOLOGIST AND CANADIAN COMMISSIONER AT THE IJC... THAT'S THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION... THAT OVERSEES WATER ISSUES ALONG THE CANADA-U.S. BORDER. HE'S ALSO A HAUDENOSAUNEE CITIZEN OF THE SENECA NATION...

Henry is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing glasses and a blue polo shirt.

Steve continues AND IN WINDSOR, ONTARIO: MICHAEL McKAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PROFESSOR AT THE GREAT LAKES INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR.

Michael is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a white shirt and a striped blue tie.

Steve continues IT'S A GREAT PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU THREE WITH US TONIGHT HERE ON TVO. I THOUGHT I'D JUST START OUR DISCUSSION HERE BY PUTTING A FEW FACT ON THE RECORD WHICH YOU THREE SURELY KNOW ABOUT WHICH OUR VIEWERS AND LISTENERS MAY NOT, BUT THEY WILL NOW ONCE WE DO THIS. SO, SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE GRAPHIC, PLEASE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The Great Lakes. Our precious resource."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THE GREAT LAKES... IMAGINE THIS... HOLD 20 percent OF ALL THE FRESHWATER ON EARTH. ONE IN FOUR CANADIANS DRAW THEIR DRINKING WATER DIRECTLY FROM THOSE LAKES. THEIR COMBINED SURFACES ARE ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. MORE THAN 40 MILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN THE GREAT LAKES BASIN. AND IF MEASURED AS A COUNTRY, THE REGION REPRESENTS THE THIRD LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, SUPPORTING 51 MILLION JOBS. THAT IS 30 percent OF THE COMBINED CANADIAN AND AMERICAN WORKFORCE. ARE THE GREAT LAKES IMPORTANT? YOU BET THEY ARE. HOWEVER, MOLLY, LET'S USE THIS METAPHOR: IF THEY WERE A PATIENT, WHAT DIAGNOSIS WOULD YOU GIVE THEM RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "Molly Flanagan. Alliance for the Great Lakes."

Molly says I'D SAY THE GREAT LAKES ARE IN SERIOUS CONDITION, WHICH MIGHT COME AS A SURPRISE TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE BECAUSE IF YOU STAND ON THE SHORES OF THE GREAT LAKES, THEY MOSTLY LOOK OKAY. BUT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS LOOMING.

Steve says SERIOUS CONDITION IS BETTER THAN CRITICAL CONDITION, WHICH IS WHAT I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE SAYING. NOT IN CRITICAL CONDITION?

Molly says YOU KNOW, WE'RE AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE WHERE WE CAN EITHER TACKLE THESE BIG PROBLEMS AND IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF THE GREAT LAKES, OR WE RISK THEM SLIPPING INTO CRITICAL CONDITION OR WORSE.

Steve says UNDERSTOOD. LET'S SHOW A BIT OF WHAT YOU MIGHT BE REFERRING TO HERE. AND TO THAT END, I'M GOING TO ASK OUR DIRECTOR, SHELDON OSMOND, TO BRING A COUPLE OF PICTURES BACK TO BACK. FOR THOSE LISTENING ON PODCAST, I'LL JUST DESCRIBE THEM A LITTLE BIT. WE'RE TALKING ICE COVER HERE. THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN BY NASA. AND THE FIRST PICTURE HERE IS FEBRUARY 2014. SO ABOUT SEVEN YEARS AGO.

A satellite picture of the Great Lakes region shows that most of their surface is covered by ice, except for Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario.

Steve continues 80 percent OF THE LAKES ARE COVERED IN ICE AND THAT ACTUALLY SET A 20-YEAR RECORD. YOU KNOW, FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T SEE IT AND CAN ONLY HEAR ABOUT IT, BASICALLY WE'RE LOOKING AT THE GREAT LAKES ALL WHITE EXCEPT FOR SOME OF LAKE MICHIGAN AND SOME OF LAKE ONTARIO, BUT BASICALLY IT'S COVERED. LET'S DISSOLVE TO THE NEXT PICTURE.

In another similar image only Lake Huron remains mostly covered.

Steve continues HERE IS LAST FEBRUARY, WHERE ONLY 17 percent OF THE LAKES ARE COVERED IN ICE. THAT IS A NEAR RECORD LOW. THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF ICE COVER AT THIS TIME OF YEAR IS USUALLY 40 percent. INSTEAD, 17 percent. AND IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, THERE IS LOTS OF BLUE THERE. A LOT OF ICE DID NOT HAPPEN. AND, MIKE, MAYBE YOU COULD PICK UP THE STORY. WHAT DOES THE DECLINE IN ICE COVER MEAN FOR THE GREAT LAKES?

The caption changes to "Michael McKay. University of Windsor."
Then, it changes again to "Worrying signs?"

Michael says MANY IMPLICATIONS OF REDUCED ICE COVER, STEVE. WE'VE BEEN SEEING ABOUT A 70, 7R OF THE GREAT LAKES OVER THE PAST FOUR TO FIVE DECADES. MUCH LIKE WE SEE IN THE ARCTIC. LOSS OF ICE IN THE LAKES HAS MANY IMPLICATIONS THAT I MENTIONED, INCREASED COASTAL EROSION. WE HAVE CERTAINLY EFFECTS ON THE ECOSYSTEM IN THE GREAT LAKES. AND ALSO I THINK WE SHOULD LOOK AT ICE AS A MAJOR IMPORTANT CULTURAL IDENTIFIER IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION.

Steve says MEANING WHAT?

The caption changes to "Ice, ice, maybe."

Michael says PEOPLE TAKE TO THE LAKES FOR WINTER RECREATION, ICE FISHING, FOR EXAMPLE. LOSS OF ICE ALSO PARALLELS I THINK THE LOSS OF MORE MILD TEMPERATURES WE'RE SEEING IN THE REGION, LOSS OF SKATING RINKS IN BACK YARDS. SO MANY THINGS THAT WE TRADITIONALLY IDENTIFY WITH WINTER ACTIVITIES ARE AT RISK.

Steve says UNDERSTOOD. ALL RIGHT. LET'S DO ONE MORE OF THESE METRICS AND THEN WE'LL GET HENRY IN AFTER THIS. LET'S, SHELDON, BRING UP THE PICTURES OF THE ALGAE BLOOMS. THIS IS ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO IN LAKE ERIE, SOME PEOPLE MIGHT THINK THAT'S A BEAUTIFUL GREEN. I'M PRETTY SURE THE GREAT LAKES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS COLOUR OF GREEN. THESE ALGAE BLOOMS ARE SHOWING UP EVERY SUMMER, MOLLY.

A picture shows a boat sailing in bright green water.

Molly says THE GREAT LAKES DEFINITELY SHOULDN'T LOOK LIKE PEA SOUP. HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS, DEAD ZONES ARE CROPPING UP ON THE LAKES EACH SUMMER AND THEY'RE MOSTLY CAUSED BY AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION. THE BLOOMS IN LAKE ERIE HAVE BEEN SO BAD IN THE PAST THAT THE CITY OF TOLEDO LOST HIS WATER SUPPLY FOR TWO DAYS IN 2015 BECAUSE THERE WAS A TOXIN IN THE HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOM THAT POISONED THE DRINKING WATER AND MADE IT UNSAFE TO DRINK.

Steve says MICHAEL, IS THIS SITUATION GETTING BETTER OR WORSE?

Michael says IT REALLY VARIES. 2019, AS MOLLY MENTIONED, WAS QUITE A BAD YEAR IN TERMS OF THE HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOM. THIS PAST SUMMER, THE BLOOM WAS RELATIVELY MODEST IN SIZE AND A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE AMOUNT OF PRECIPITATION WE GET DURING THE SPRING, BY RELATES TO THE AMOUNT OF NUTRIENTS THAT PRIME THE BLOOM HEADING INTO THE SUMMER. SO AS WAS ALLUDED, A LOT OF THE ISSUES RELATED TO HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS HAVE TO DO WITH WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE WATERSHED. DEALING WITH WATERSHED ISSUES IS IMPORTANT FOR ENSURING THAT THE LAKES ARE DEALT WITH AS WELL.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. WITH THIS BACKGROUND NOW IN PLACE, LET'S GET HENRY LICKERS INTO THIS CONVERSATION BECAUSE YOUR FIRST NATION SITS RIGHT ON THE CANADA-U.S. BORDER ON THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER AND I WONDER, HENRY, IF YOU WOULD JUST SHARE SOME OF WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE IS WITH THE WATERWAYS OF YOUR COMMUNITY AND THE DIFFERENCES THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED OVER THE LAST MANY YEARS.

The caption changes to "Henry Lickers. International Joint Commission."

Henry says WELL, WE HAVE A VERY LONG RECORD OF LIVING IN THIS AREA. OUR ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE GOES BACK 9,000 YEARS AGO. SOME OF THE GRANDPARENTS CALL IT WHEN THE ICE LEFT. BUT WE'VE KNOWN THIS RIVER AND THE GREAT LAKES FOR ALL THIS PERIOD OF TIME AND WE'VE SEEN DRASTIC CHANGES IN IT AS IT'S OCCURRED. IN THE LAST COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS, THOUGH, WE'VE SEEN, AS PEOPLE HAVE MOVED INTO THE GREAT LAKES AND BEGIN TO UTILIZE THE RESOURCES THERE, WE BEGAN TO SEE SHIFTS IN ALL OF THE POPULATIONS. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, SALMON, THOSE TYPE OF THINGS THAT USED TO RUN THE RIVER, NO LONGER DO THAT BECAUSE OF THE DAMS AND THE HYDRO ELECTRIC WORKS THAT WE HAVE. AT ONE POINT EARLY IN IN OUR LIVING HERE AND WHEN THE FIRST CONTACT... THE SETTLERS FIRST ARRIVED, THEY WOULD USE STURGEON AS FIREWOOD BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MANY OF THEM THEY COULD JUST THROW THEM UP ON THE SHORE, THEY'D DRY OUT, THEY HAD LOTS OF OIL IN THEM, AND YOU COULD THROW THEM STRAIGHT INTO A BOILER AND BURN IT IN ORDER TO MAKE STEAM FOR YOUR SHIPS. EELS WERE IN THE TRILLIONS. AND TODAY WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE GREAT FISH IN THE ST. LAWRENCE, YOU DON'T SEE ANYWHERE NEAR THAT. AND SO THERE'S BEEN MANY, MANY DIFFERENT CHANGES OF THAT TYPE AND THE MOHAWK PEOPLE AND THE HAUDENOSAUNEE PEOPLE, ANISHINAABE HAVE BEEN WORRYING ABOUT IT.

Steve says HENRY, YOU MENTIONED WHEN THE DAMS WERE CREATED THAT CHANGED A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT YOUR TRADITIONAL WAYS OF LIFE. WHAT ABOUT OTHER REASONS AS WELL, POLLUTION OR THE WAY THAT TOURISM IS USED IN THE AREA? WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS HAVE THEY MADE?

Henry says WELL, OF COURSE THE ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY AND THE GREAT LAKES WERE LOOKED ON AS A GREAT RESOURCE, AND SO THEY UTILIZED IT, BUILT INDUSTRIES BY IT, USED THE POWER IN ORDER TO PRODUCE ALUMINUM AND OTHER METALS AND THINGS LIKE THIS. AND AT THAT TIME, YOU KNOW, THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION WAS DILUTION. YOU JUST THREW EVERYTHING INTO THE RIVER AND OF COURSE IT WOULD ALL GO DOWN THE RIVER TO THE SEA. WELL, WHEN THEY DID THAT, THEY CONTAMINATED THE FISH, SO MUCH SO THAT OUR PEOPLE COULDN'T EAT THEM THE WAY WE DID. AND REMEMBER THAT THE HAUDENOSAUNEE PEOPLE, LIKE 75 percent OF OUR PROTEIN SOURCE, CAME OUT OF THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER IN THE FORM OF FISH. SO WE NO LONGER HAD THAT AND WE HAD TO CHANGE OUR DIETS. AND WHEN WE DID THAT, WE CHANGED THEM TO HIGH CARBOHYDRATE DIETS WHICH NOW LEADS TO 75 percent OF THE PEOPLE OF AKWESASNE HAVING ABNORMAL GLUCOSE TOLERANCE OR DIABETES. I MYSELF HAVE DIABETES AS WELL. SO MASSIVE CHANGES TO THE ECOSYSTEM BUT ALSO CHANGES TO THE SOCIETY. FISHING WAS A MAINSTAY. EVERYBODY KNEW HOW TO FISH. NOWADAYS, WE HAVE TO TEACH OUR YOUNG HOW TO FISH, BUT THEY CAN'T EAT THE FISH IN MANY CASES. SO THIS CHANGES THE CULTURE, CHANGES THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK AT THE RIVER. WE STILL LOVE IT AND IT'S STILL A GORGEOUS RIVER, BUT YOU'RE ALWAYS AFRAID.

Steve says MOLLY, WHAT ABOUT INVASIVE SPECIES? WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THAT FRONT?

The caption changes to "Molly Flanagan, @A4GL."

Molly says INVASIVE SPECIES CONTINUE TO BE A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM FOR THE GREAT LAKES. THEY HAVE CHANGED THE ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM OF THE GREAT LAKES. AND IT'S NOT JUST THE INVASIVE SPECIES THAT ARE ALREADY THERE THAT WE HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT, IT'S THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES BEING INTRODUCED BY SHIPS THAT COME FROM OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD OR SWIMMING UP RIVERS, LIKE THE ILLINOIS RIVER INTO THE CHICAGO AREA WATERWAY SYSTEM AND USING THAT AS A SUPER HIGHWAY TO GET INTO LAKE MICHIGAN. SO AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES CONTINUE TO BE A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE FOR THE GREAT LAKES, AND ONE OF THE REASONS I SAY THEY'RE IN SERIOUS CONDITION.

A picture shows a hand holding dozens of mussels.

Steve says WE JUST SAW A PICTURE OF SOMEBODY WITH A FISTFUL OF ZEBRA MUSSELS. WHAT DO THEY DO TO THE GREAT LAKES?

Molly says SO ZEBRA MUSSELS FILTER OUT A LOT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE FOOD WEB. AND SO THEY LEAVE THE LAKES ESSENTIALLY DEVOID OF FOOD THAT SMALLER FISH USE TO EAT AND GROW. AND WHAT THAT DOES IS THEN DEPRIVE BIGGER FISH OF THOSE SMALLER FISH. AND SO THAT'S ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE'VE SEEN THE COLLAPSE OF THE FOOD WEB IN LAKE MICHIGAN AND IN OTHER PLACES AROUND THE GREAT LAKES.

Steve says MICHAEL, LET'S TALK CLIMATE CHANGE. WHAT IMPACT IS CLIMATE CHANGE HAVING ON THE GREAT LAKES AND HOW WOULD WE NOTICE IT?

The caption changes to "Michael McKay, @McKayGLIER."
Then, it changes again to "A changing climate."

Michael says WELL, WE'VE LOOKED AT ONE OF THE IMPACTS ALREADY AND THAT'S THE DECLINING ICE COVERAGE OVER THE LAKES. CERTAINLY CLIMATE CHANGE IS A PART OF THAT ISSUE. THE OTHER THING WE'RE SEEING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE IS INCREASED WARMING OF SURFACE WATERS. SO PLACES LIKE LAKE SUPERIOR, WE'RE SEEING 2 degrees CELSIUS AVERAGE WARMING OVER THE PAST DECADE OR TWO. THIS WARMING, THIS INCREASED WARMING, CAN ACTUALLY HAVE IMPLICATIONS THEN FOR CYANOBACTERIAL BLOOMS. WE SEE THE WATER STRATIFYING EARLIER IN THE SEASON, THE TOP LAYER WARMING PREFERENTIALLY OVER BOTTOM LAYERS. THAT ALLOWS FOR MORE HEATING IN THAT TOP LAYER. AND THINGS LIKE THE BACTERIA THAT CAUSE THESE HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS LIKE WARM WATER.

Steve says MOLLY, THE PRIORITIES FINDING IMPROVEMENT TO THE GREAT LAKES. HOW MUCH OF ALL THAT WAS PART OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S PRIORITY LIST?

The caption changes to "The Trump effect."

Molly says IT WAS CLEARLY NOT A PRIORITY FOR THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. I WOULD SAY THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REALLY TOOK THE UNITED STATES BACKWARDS IN TERMS OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH AND THERE IS A LOT OF DAMAGE TO BE UNDONE OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

Steve says AND, HENRY, I SHOULD GET YOUR VIEW ON THAT AS WELL BECAUSE YOU OF COURSE WORK WITH THE IJC, THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, WHICH IS A CANADA-U.S. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION. YOU WOULD HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH TRUMP APPOINTEES ON THAT ORGANIZATION, PRESUMABLY. WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

The caption changes to "Political Blind Date. Tonight 9 PM. Also streaming at tvo.org/documentaries."

Henry says WELL, WHEN TRUMP CAME IN, OF COURSE WE... I WAS WORRIED. I WAS WORRIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE PUT ON THE COMMISSION WITH ME SINCE THE COMMISSIONERS SERVE FOR THE TRANSBOUNDARY WATERS, THAT'S WHAT WE WORK FOR IS TO PROTECT THEM AND TAKE CARE OF THEM. AND WE WERE WORRIED THAT... I WAS WORRIED ANYWAYS THAT THIS MAY NOT BE THE WAY THAT THEY THOUGHT OF IT. HOWEVER, WHEN THEY CAME ON BOARD AND WE SAT DOWN AND WE STARTED TO TALK ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES, TALKED ABOUT... TWO OF THE PEOPLE WERE FROM MICHIGAN, ONE WAS FROM MONTANA, NEW YORK STATE, I SUDDENLY FOUND PEOPLE WHO WERE VERY WORRIED ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES AND HOW THEY WERE FUNCTIONING, AND ASKED ME... PUT ALL OF OUR SKILL-SETS TOGETHER, THEIR SKILL-SET AND OUR SKILL-SETS FROM CANADA. SUDDENLY WE HAD A COHESIVE TEAM THAT COULD LOOK AT A LOT OF THESE PROBLEMS, AND WE BEGAN FIRST TO SEARCH OUT PEOPLE WITHIN THE GREAT LAKES TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY THOUGHT THE ISSUES WERE.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S INTERESTING. MIKE, LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THAT. BECAUSE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, WHEN WE DID A PROGRAM ABOUT THIS I GUESS A YEAR OR TWO AGO, THERE WAS SOMETHING CALLED THE GREAT LAKES RESTORATION INITIATIVE THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION I BELIEVE WANTED TO CUT THEIR BUDGET SOMETHING LIKE 90 percent. IT NEVER ENDED UP HAPPENING. DO YOU KNOW WHY?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Michael says IT'S BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT WITHIN THE REGION. SO I SPENT MOST OF MY CAREER WORKING IN THE U.S., LIVING IN A REPUBLICAN DISTRICT. SO EVEN LIVING IN AREAS LIKE THAT WHERE THERE'S TREMENDOUS SUPPORT FOR REPUBLICAN POLICIES, INDIVIDUALS RALLY AROUND THE GREAT LAKES. MORE THAN 85 percent OF THE CITIZENS LIVING WITHIN THE GREAT LAKES REGION WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE FUNDING TO ENSURE THE INTEGRITY AND HEALTH OF OUR GREAT LAKES. I THINK WHAT I SEE IS PEOPLE MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE LAKES REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICAL AFFILIATION. THEY REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THE LAKES ARE TO OUR LIVELIHOOD, TO OUR ECONOMY, AND THESE ARE THINGS THAT SPAN POLITICAL PARTIES.

Steve says WELL, WE'RE AT THE BEGINNING NOW, MOLLY, OF A NEW ADMINISTRATION AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S ALWAYS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF OPTIMISM EARLY ON IN A NEW ADMINISTRATION... UNTIL REALITY SETS IN. SO LET ME FIND OUT HOW OPTIMISTIC YOU ARE THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FOR THE GREAT LAKES THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE WAS.

The caption changes to "A new occupant in the White House."

Molly says WELL, STEVE, WE'VE ALREADY SEEN A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN TONE REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. PRESIDENT BIDEN CLEARLY TAKES CLIMATE CHANGE SERIOUSLY. IS ALREADY TAKING ACTION TO ADDRESS IT. WITH A FOCUS NOT JUST ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION BUT ALSO ON JOBS AND THE ECONOMY. YOU KNOW, HE'S ALREADY SIGNED A NUMBER OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT ARE FOCUSED ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. AND SO AT THIS POINT WE FEEL REALLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AND WE'D REALLY LIKE TO SEE HIM FOCUS ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT AN INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, AND WE THINK IT'S CRITICAL THAT GREAT LAKES RESIDENTS BE PROVIDED WITH SAFE AND AFFORDABLE DRINKING WATER THAT CAN ALSO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK. THIS GETS TO A POINT THAT I THINK HENRY MADE EARLIER IS THAT WE REALLY CAN'T DIVORCE THE HEALTH OF THE GREAT LAKES FROM THE HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AROUND THEM.

Steve says YEAH, MICHAEL, YOU'RE JUST ACROSS THE BORDER, WELL, A LITTLE WAYS FROM FLINT, MICHIGAN, BUT CERTAINLY A LOT CLOSER THAN THE REST OF US ARE. CAN THEY DRINK THE WATER IN FLINT YET? YOU TALK ABOUT WATER INFRASTRUCTURE. IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT THEY OUGHT TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST.

Michael says YEAH. NO, THESE ARE SERIOUS CONCERNS, AND THERE NEEDS TO BE MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING PUT IN PLACE FOR PLACES LIKE FLINT BUT ALSO DRINKING WATER INTAKES AROUND THE BASIN ARE AGING AND NEED ATTENTION NOW. SO, YOU KNOW, IN TERMS OF FLINT, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE MAKING CHANGES TO INFRASTRUCTURE BUT IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT AN INCIDENT LIKE THAT NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE TO PUT PEOPLE INTO ACTION.

Steve says HENRY, WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND EXPECTATIONS NOW THAT A NEW ADMINISTRATION IS IN PLACE?

The caption changes to "Henry Lickers, @IJCsharedwaters."

Henry says WELL, I'M HOPEFUL THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WILL LOOK FAVOURABLY UPON THE GREAT LAKES, AND I KNOW THAT I'VE NOW BEEN READING SOME OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT HAVE COME OUT, AND THERE'S ONE THERE ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THAT I THINK IS QUITE USEFUL, TO THE GREAT LAKES AS WELL, BUT THERE'S ALSO ONE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND OTHERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT. AND I SEE THIS AS HOPEFUL SIGNS THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO DO A LOT MORE WORK IN THE GREAT LAKES. I THINK IT SHOULD BE MENTIONED, THOUGH, THAT AS THE OTHER SPEAKERS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, WE TALK AS IF THE FEDERAL FUNDS THAT WE PUT IN TO SAVING THE GREAT LAKES AREA ARE A GREAT AMOUNT, AND THEY MAY BE LARGE. HOWEVER, FOR EVERY FEDERAL DOLLAR THAT'S PUT IN, I WOULDN'T BE A BIT SURPRISED THAT YOU COULD DOUBLE, TRIPLE, OR MULTIPLY IT TIMES FIVE TIMES BY THE AMOUNT OF WORK PUT IN BY NORMAL PEOPLE IN THE GREAT LAKES TO PROTECT THE LANDS AROUND THEM. SO THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE WHO ARE SUPPORTING THE GREAT LAKES AND REALLY WANT IT TO BE CLEANED UP AND HEALTHY AGAIN.

Steve says LET'S TALK PIPELINE PROBLEMS. TO THAT EFFECT, I'M GOING TO ASK OUR DIRECTOR AGAIN TO BRING UP A SHOT OF THE MAP. HERE WE GO.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Enbridge's Line 5 Pipeline."

In a satellite view of the Great Lakes region, a yellow line shows the Pipeline. It goes from Superior to Detroit.

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THIS IS ENBRIDGE LINE 5, AND AGAIN FOR THOSE LISTENING ON PODCAST, I'LL DESCRIBE IT A BIT, BECAUSE IT STARTS AT SUPERIOR IN WISCONSIN, AND THIS IS, YOU KNOW, THIS IS HALF A MILLION BARRELS OF OIL AND NATURAL GAS EVERY DAY GOING ALONG THAT YELLOW LINE FROM SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN, UNDERNEATH A SMALL PART OF THE GREAT LAKES, TO SARNIA. AND MICHIGAN OFFICIALS HAVE TOLD ENBRIDGE TO CLOSE THE OLD PIPELINE BY THE 12TH OF MAY. THEY SAY IT'S TOO ENVIRONMENTALLY RISKY. CANADIAN OFFICIALS, CONVERSELY, SAY THAT WOULD CHOKE OFF MORE THAN HALF OF WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE GASOLINE AND JET FUEL AND IT WOULD MEAN THOUSANDS OF LOST JOBS. OKAY, MOLLY. RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE FOR US IN THE NEXT MINUTE. WHO'S RIGHT ON THIS, THE GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN OR THE CANADIAN OFFICIALS?

The caption changes to "Pipeline problems?"

Molly says I WISH I COULD RESOLVE THIS IN LESS THAN A MINUTE. WHAT I WOULD SAY IS THAT THE PIPELINE UNDER THE STRAIT DOES POSE AN UNNECESSARY RISK TO, STEVE, AS YOU NOTED AT THE TOP OF THE HOUR, 20 percent OF THE EARTH'S FRESH SURFACE WATER. AND MICHIGAN'S GOVERNOR GRANHOLM HAS SAID SHE IS TERMINATING ENBRIDGE'S EASEMENT. ENBRIDGE OF COURSE IS CHALLENGING THAT IN COURT. SO I THINK THE FATE OF LINE 5 IS LIKELY TO BE SETTLED IN THE COURTS.

Steve says I JUST WANTED TO CHECK. DID YOU SAY GOVERNOR... MICHIGAN GOVERNOR GRANHOLM?

Molly says OH, SORRY. MICHIGAN'S GOVERNOR WHITMER ANNOUNCED IN NOVEMBER THAT SHE WAS REVOKING AND TERMINATING ENBRIDGE'S LEASE.

Steve says GRANHOLM WAS BORN IN CANADA WHICH MAY BE WHY SHE WAS TOP OF MIND FOR YOU.

Molly says AND ALSO JOINING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION.

Steve says SHE IS INDEED. MIKE, THIS STANDOFF, HOW DO YOU VIEW IT?

Michael says THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED, OBVIOUSLY, AS MOLLY MENTIONED. IT'S AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN. IF THAT PIPELINE IS BREACHED, SUCH AS ONE OF THE OTHER ENBRIDGE PIPELINES WAS AT KALAMAZOO, INTO THE KALAMAZOO, A MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER AWAITS. IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE WE DO HAVE A LOT OF JOBS IN PLACES LIKE SARNIA THAT RELY ON THAT, AND WE DON'T HAVE MECHANISMS IN PLACE RIGHT NOW TO DEAL WITH THE DEFICIT. HEATING OIL. GASOLINE THAT COMES FROM THAT. PROPANE. IT'S NOT JUST SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO OR CANADA BUT IT'S ALSO MICHIGAN AND THE STATE OF OHIO AS WELL. SO WE NEED TO ADDRESS THIS. HOPEFULLY, AGAIN, WITH THE NEW INITIATIVES PLANNED BY THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE WILL CONTINUE TO HELP WEAN US OFF OF FOSSIL FUELS. BUT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE THE 1950s AND WE NEED TO ENSURE AT LEAST FOR NOW THAT DELIVERY OF FOSSIL FUELS, OIL AND GAS TO THIS AREA IS DONE SAFELY.

Steve says WELL, MOLLY, LET ME ASK THE OBVIOUS FOLLOW-UP, WHICH IS: IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT HAPPENING UNDER THE GREAT LAKES THROUGH THESE PIPELINES, THE ALTERNATIVE IS SHIPPING, TRAINS, TRUCKS. SURELY THAT'S NOT BETTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND PERHAPS COULD BE EVEN MORE DANGEROUS.

Molly says YEAH, THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS A REALLY COMPLICATED ISSUE IS THAT MOVING OIL FROM PIPELINES ONTO SHIPS OR TRAINS OBVIOUSLY IS NOT A SAFER ALTERNATIVE FOR COMMUNITIES THAT LIVE AROUND THE GREAT LAKES OR POTENTIALLY FOR DRINKING WATER. WE DEFINITELY DON'T THINK THAT CRUDE OIL SHOULD BE MOVING ON VESSELS ON THE GREAT LAKES, AND SO THAT IS A REALLY CHALLENGING ISSUE AND ONE THAT WE NEED TO BE COGNIZANT OF. ANYWHERE WE SHUT DOWN OIL MOVEMENT WE'RE POTENTIALLY MOVING THAT OIL ELSEWHERE AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK IDEALLY WE'LL BE MOVING AWAY FROM OIL AS WE'RE WORKING TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE.

Steve says WELL, IF YOU THINK THAT'S A TRICKY ISSUE, WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ONE THAT'S EVEN MORE CONTROVERSIAL AND THAT'S NUCLEAR WASTE. CANADA'S NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN TASKED WITH FINDING A HOME FOR GET THIS THE 3 MILLION SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL BUNDLES AND ONE PLACE THEY'VE BEEN CONSIDERING FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW IS AN AREA IN THE SOUTH BRUCE NEAR LAKE HURON. THEY WOULD LIKE TO BUILD A STATE-OF-THE-ART UNDERGROUND VAULT THERE FOR ALL THE SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL BUNDLES. RIGHT NOW ALL THE MATERIAL IS JUST SITTING ABOVE THE GROUND AT THE NUCLEAR POWER STATION. OKAY. MIKE, GET US STARTED ON THIS. WHAT'S THE SOLUTION HERE?

The caption changes to "What to do with nuclear waste?"

Michael says WELL, WE NEED A LONG-TERM SOLUTION. THE U.S. HAS BEEN GRAPPLING WITH THIS FOR DECADES NOW. IN THE LATE 1980s, THEY IDENTIFIED A LOCATION IN NEVADA, YUCA MOUNTAIN, AS BEING A STABLE GEOLOGICAL LOCATION WHERE THEY COULD BURY SPENT NUCLEAR WASTE FROM NUCLEAR POWER FACILITIES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THAT WAS 1987. THROUGHOUT THE LATE 1990s AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, THEY TRIED TO REVIVE THE INITIATIVE. AND WE KEPT HEARING THE SAME THING: NOT IN MY BACK YARD. NOW, NOT THAT THE LOCATION IN NEVADA WAS NOT IN SOMEONE'S BACK YARD, BUT MOVING THAT NUCLEAR FUEL FROM THE POWER STATIONS ACROSS COUNTRY BY RAIL WAS PASSING THROUGH THE BACK YARDS OF PEOPLE. AND, AGAIN, LOTS OF COMMUNITY LOBBYING THAT WENT ON THAT HAS CONTINUED TO STALL THAT INITIATIVE EVEN THROUGH NOW. SO WE'RE LOOKING AT THIS SITUATION IN CANADA AND, AGAIN, WE NEED TO HAVE A STABLE REPOSITORY BECAUSE WE HAVE THE... THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, WE HAVE SPENT FUEL WASTE. AND MY CONCERN ABOUT THE WAY IT'S BEEN HANDLED UNTIL NOW IS SECURITY. THE SPENT FUEL RODS ARE STORED EITHER IN WET STORAGE IN POOLS OR DRY STORAGE AFTER 7 TO 10 YEARS SPENT IN A POOL, AND THEY COULD BE THE TARGETS OF TERRORISM. IT'S A BIG CONCERN. AND SO IDENTIFYING A LOCATION A THOUSAND METRES UNDERGROUND IN A GEOLOGICAL STABLE LOCATION IS A PRIORITY, I THINK.

Steve says IS A PRIORITY. BUT HOW ABOUT RIGHT BESIDE LAKE HURON. ARE YOU OKAY WITH THAT LOCATION?

Michael says AGAIN, I THINK IF WE CAN IDENTIFY A PLACE THAT HAS THE LEAST POTENTIAL DISRUPTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT. THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE A SINGLE PLACE THAT FITS ALL THOSE CRITERIA. BUT, AGAIN, WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT A RESOURCE SUCH AS THE GREAT LAKES THAT PROVIDE DRINKING WATER TO TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, THAT SHOULD CERTAINLY WEIGH INTO THE CONSIDERATION OF WHERE THIS IS LOCATED.

Steve says HENRY, WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THE ADVISABILITY OF PUTTING THAT NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITY ON THE SHORES OF... I SHOULDN'T SAY ON THE SHORES OF... ON THE BRUCE PENINSULA NEAR LAKE HURON?

Henry says WELL, FOR MYSELF, I'D WORRY ABOUT THE LOCATION. FROM THE IJC'S POINT OF VIEW, AGAIN, WE ARE LOOKING AT ALL OF THESE ISSUES, WHETHER THEY BE PIPELINES OR NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSALS, WE'RE LOOKING AT THEM. WHAT WE CAN DO, HOWEVER, IF WE HAVE CONCERNS AND PEOPLE RAISE THOSE CONCERNS WITH THE IJC, WE CAN TAKE THOSE TO THE PARTIES AND LOOK TO THEM. UNDER OUR MANDATE, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ALERT THE COUNTRIES WHERE THERE MAY BE DISPUTES, THERE MAY BE PROBLEMS. THAT WAS THE REASON IN 1909 THAT THE BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY WAS SIGNED SO THAT THE TWO COUNTRIES COULD DISCUSS THESE THINGS AND USE THAT PLATFORM IN ORDER TO EXPLORE SOLUTIONS. THE ST. MARYS MILL, MANY OF THE RIVERS OUT WEST WERE IN DISPUTE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES TO THE EFFECT THAT... AS I SAY, WE WERE ALMOST GETTING READY TO GO TO WAR. YOU KNOW, THOSE TYPE OF THINGS WERE REALLY IMPORTANT. WELL, WE'RE SEEING THE SAME THING TODAY WITH OTHER ISSUES. AND SO, THE IJC HAS A MANDATE TO RAISE TO THE PARTIES ANY ISSUES THAT WE THINK MAY DISRUPT THE GOOD FLOW OF INFORMATION AND SOLUTIONS BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO INVESTIGATE THOSE, WE NEED REFERENCES FROM THE PARTIES IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. SO ON ONE HAND, YUP, I WOULD BE CONCERNED AS AN INDIVIDUAL. BUT AS THE IJC, WE LOOK TO OUR PUBLIC AND THE PEOPLE AROUND, IF THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WISHES TO BE LOOKED AT, THEN WE CAN FORWARD THAT TO THE PARTIES AND WE'VE ALREADY DONE THAT WITH BOTH OF THESE ISSUES IN THE CURRENT COMMISSION.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. MOLLY, I SHOULD GET YOUR VIEW ON THE ADVISABILITY OF USING THAT SOUTH BRUCE LOCATION FOR NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE.

Molly says STORING NUCLEAR WASTE NEXT TO THE GREAT LAKES DOESN'T SEEM WORTH THE RISK TO THE 40 MILLION PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THE GREAT LAKES FOR THEIR DRINKING WATER.

Steve says PERIOD, FULL STOP.

Molly says YEAH.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. LET ME JUST FOR ARGUMENT'S SAKE PUT THE OTHER SIDE ON THE RECORD AND THAT IS THAT THE NUCLEAR WASTE IS BEING PRODUCED AT THE BRUCE NUCLEAR FACILITIES AND THEREFORE PRESUMABLY YOU WANT TO STORE IT CLOSE TO THAT FACILITY. ONCE YOU START EXPLORING MOVING IT FURTHER AWAY FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO A PLACE THAT MIGHT MAKE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE IN TERMS OF THE GREAT LAKES, YOU DO HAVE THE POTENTIAL OF TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS AND OTHER SAFETY CONCERNS. WHAT ABOUT THAT ARGUMENT?

Molly says YEAH. UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T HAVE A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO PROPOSE. THIS IS A REALLY DIFFICULT ISSUE. PEOPLE FEEL REALLY PASSIONATELY ABOUT IT. AS MIKE POINTED OUT, IN THE UNITED STATES WE'VE LONG LOOKED AT YUCA MOUNTAIN AS A POTENTIAL PLACE TO STORE NUCLEAR WASTE. BUT YOU RUN INTO ALL KINDS OF ISSUES, INCLUDING THE TRANSPORTATION ISSUE, STEVE, THAT YOU BRING UP AND THE FACT THAT PLACES LIKE YUCA MOUNTAIN ARE SACRED LANDS FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. SO THIS IS A REALLY CHALLENGING ONE.

Steve says VERY CHALLENGING. BUT, MIKE, THE REALITY IS THAT THE LIGHTS THAT ARE ON IN THIS STUDIO AND THE ELECTRICITY THAT YOU'RE USING TO TALK TO US RIGHT NOW, I MEAN, HALF OF THAT IS CREATED IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO BY NUCLEAR POWER. WE ARE OVERWHELMINGLY RELYING ON NUCLEAR POWER TO KEEP US MOVING. SO THE QUESTION THEN BECOMES: IF WE DON'T PUT IT THERE, THIS STUFF'S ONLY GOING TO GET LARGER. WHERE ARE WE GOING TO PUT IT? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

Michael says WELL, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING AT VARIOUS SITES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I BELIEVE ONE OF THE SITES THAT THEY'RE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW IS NORTHWEST OF THUNDER BAY. BUT, AGAIN, THERE WILL BE CONCERNS AMONGST THE COMMUNITIES IN THAT AREA AS WELL. SO, AGAIN, THIS IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO ADDRESS RIGHT NOW, THE SPENT WASTE IS STORED ON SITE, WHETHER IT BE AT KINCARDINE AROUND BRUCE, WHETHER IT BE IN THE OSHAWA AREA AROUND DARLINGTON OR PICKERING OR WHETHER IT'S IN QUEBEC OR NEW BRUNSWICK. AND TO HAVE A CONSOLIDATED LOCATION THAT IS SECURE AND, AGAIN, GEOLOGICALLY STABLE, NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY.

Steve says MOLLY, SOME PROBLEMS WITH SO INTRACTABLE, THEY DON'T HAVE AN APPARENT SOLUTION. IS THIS ONE OF THEM?

Molly says I MEAN, I THINK THIS ONE IS DEFINITELY, AS I MENTIONED, A CHALLENGE, AND ONE THAT WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO SOLVE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR YEARS. IT SOUNDS LIKE CANADA HAS BEEN WRESTLING WITH THIS ONE. I DON'T THINK THAT THERE ARE PROBLEMS THAT LACK SOLUTIONS. I THINK HUMAN INGENUITY AND PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS CAN TAKE US A LONG WAY, SO I'M HOPEFUL THAT THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WE CAN RESOLVE. UNFORTUNATELY, I PERHAPS AM NOT QUITE SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE OUT THE SOLUTION FOR US.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. WELL, LET'S GO TO HENRY WITH THIS ONE. HENRY, PICK... IN OUR REMAINING MOMENTS... PICK ONE PROBLEM RELATED TO THE GREAT LAKES YOU CARE ABOUT AND TELL US HOW IT COULD BE SOLVED?

The caption changes to "Solutions."

Henry says WELL, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS I SEE WITH THE GREAT LAKES IS THE WHOLE ISSUE OF CONTAMINANTS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE SEE AS A NATIVE PEOPLE IS THAT WE... SCIENTISTS AND THE GOVERNMENTS ALL STARE AT ONE CONTAMINANT AT A TIME. AND SO THEY LOOK, THEY SAY, "OH, WELL, MERCURY, PCBs, DIOXINS," BUT THEY LOOK ONLY ONE CONTAMINANT AT A TIME. THE FISH DON'T TAKE ONE CONTAMINANT AT A TIME, THEY TAKE THEM ALL. TO US, IT'S HOW CAN WE LOOK AT THE IMPACT OF THESE CONTAMINANTS ON HUMAN BEINGS? NOT JUST ONE, BUT ALL OF THEM TOGETHER. AND THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT I THINK WILL BECOME GREATER AS WE GO ALONG BECAUSE THE SCIENTISTS ARE NOW HAVING TO DEAL WITH THESE TYPE OF QUESTIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. IF WE THINK THE NUCLEAR DISPOSAL IS A TOUGH QUESTION, THINK ABOUT HOW MANY CONTAMINANTS WE HAVE IN THE ENVIRONMENT, AND, REALLY, WE HAVE VERY LITTLE UNDERSTANDING ABOUT HOW THEY ALL WORK TOGETHER, WHETHER THEY COMPOUND EACH OTHER OR WHETHER THEY WORK INDIVIDUALLY OR SYNERGISTICALLY, WE REALLY DON'T KNOW. AND YET WE CONTINUE TO PUT THEM INTO THE ENVIRONMENT. SO I THINK THAT WILL BECOME A QUESTION THAT IS GOING TO BE SORT OF HIGH ON THE AGENDA AS TIME GOES ON.

Steve says MIKE, ONE BIG PROBLEM THAT YOU'D LOVE TO SEE SOLVED AND HOW YOU'D SOLVE IT.

Michael says WELL, I'M A LITTLE BIASED HERE BECAUSE A LOT OF THE RESEARCH THAT I CONDUCT HERE AT THE GREAT LAKES INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH RELATES TO THE HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS IN WEST LAKE ERIE AND LAKE ST. CLAIR. AND I THINK THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WE KNOW HOW TO SOLVE. IT JUST REQUIRES WILL. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, TAKES INTO ACCOUNT ACTIONS IN OUR WATERSHED AND THE RESULTING IMPLICATIONS WITHIN THE LAKE. AGRICULTURE ACTIVITY FAR AND AWAY IS BEHIND THE ALGAE BLOOMS WE SEE. TRYING TO CREATE MITIGATION... WE KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE. IF LEFT UNCHECKED IN A RECENT STUDY BY SCIENTISTS AT ENVIRONMENT CANADA SHOWED THAT IF LEFT UNCHECKED WE'D BE LOOKING AT 270 MILLION dollars PER YEAR IN COSTS INCURRED JUST IN THE CANADIAN PORTION OF LAKE ERIE DUE TO LOSSES IN TOURISM, TREATMENT OF DRINKING WATER, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, ET CETERA. SO, AGAIN, WORKING WITH SOCIAL SCIENTISTS TO UNDERSTAND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR, IDENTIFYING INCENTIVES THAT WE CAN WORK WITH OUR AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY, AND CONTINUING PROGRESS IN BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN AGRICULTURE SO THAT WE CAN REDUCE THE RUNOFF OF NUTRIENTS FROM THE WATERSHED INTO OUR LAKES.

Steve says LET ME SAVE THE LAST 30 SECONDS FOR MOLLY. A PROBLEM THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE SOLVED AND HOW YOU'D SOLVE IT.

Molly says WE TALKED A BIT ABOUT THE AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES EARLIER. AND ASIAN CARP ARE A FISH THAT ARE GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN CANADA. AND RECENTLY THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND THE STATES OF ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN HAVE ALL OF THE AGREEMENTS AND FUNDING IN PLACE TO MOVE TO THE NEXT PHASE OF A PROJECT THAT'S DESIGNED TO KEEP ASIAN CARP OUT OF LAKE MICHIGAN AND OUT OF THE GREAT LAKES. SO THEY'VE DESIGNED AN ASIAN CARP GAUNTLET THAT INCLUDES A NUMBER OF TECHNOLOGIES, AND IF WE CAN GET THOSE TECHNOLOGIES PUT INTO PLACE, WE HOPE THAT WE CAN KEEP ASIAN CARP OUT OF THE GREAT LAKES FOREVER.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says MY THANKS TO MOLLY FLANAGAN, HENRY LICKERS, AND MICHAEL McKAY FOR SPENDING SO MUCH TIME WITH US HERE ON TVO TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH, YOU THREE, AND BE SAFE OUT THERE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Molly says THANK YOU.

Watch: Making the Great Lakes Great Again