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Letter: Great Lakes need federal protection

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To The Editor:

Currently, many people in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan spend their summers at the beach at Lake Michigan. But someday that may all cease to be.

The lake has been, and continues to be, a public dumping ground for our region’s largest polluters. In 2010, 68 million pounds of toxic waste were dumped into the Great Lakes. Two questionable Supreme Court decisions left 55 percent of the streams and wetlands in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York at risk of more pollution.

The Obama Administration has proposed new guidelines to restore Clean Water Act protections to the streams and wetlands that flow into the Great Lakes. Still, many polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to block the administration’s efforts to save the streams and wetlands.

Protecting waterways like Lake Michigan is a huge struggle. The public needs to show that we care about the issue by supporting elected officials who want the best for our environment. That way they can make the first big step to saving the lakes, knowing they have the American people on their side.

Mason Knapp

Sycamore Middle School

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