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Great Lakes Pollution Through combined sewer overflow agricultural and stormwater runoff and various other paths possible toxic contaminants find their way into coastal waters around the world These toxins sink to the bottom of lakes rivers and oceans and accumulate in sedimentary deposits Usually the concentration of toxins in the sediment is far greater than it is in the waters above The dangerous aspect of this pollution is that changing weather patterns high winds and strong currents can disperse contaminants into the water where that accumulate in plant and animal tissue Frequently the build-up of contaminants in plant and animal tissue is in far greater concentrations than it is in the environment Every year states across the US declare beach closings at rivers lakes and oceans due to disease causing microorganismsEPA 1 These areas are the victims of industrial effluents sewage overflows polluted storm runoff and boating wastes Swimming in areas with high levels of harmful bacteria viruses and various other pathogens can cause illnesses that range from a sore throat to meningitis or severe gastroenteritisEPA 1 A major area of concern is the Great Lakes Toxic pollutants plague this area Through the collaborative efforts of Canada the United States and the International Joint Commission programs have been established with the needs of this fragile ecosystem in mind Funding in the form of grants awards loans and other investment mechanisms have been put together to build a program that promotes the overall fitness of this fragile ecosystem and all its inhabitants This paper will discuss the various problems that are degrading the Great Lakes environment the institutions that are committed to ensuring the natural cycle of this incredible landmark and the means by which they do this and the obstacles that groups programs and counteries have encountered to progress The Great Lakes ecosystem is one that incorporates eight US states and two Canadian provinces They contain one-fifth of the all the fresh
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