Great Lakes, Raw Sewage, New Jobs and You
How are the Great Lakes, raw sewage, new jobs and you related? Well, this week, National Wildlife Federation supporters like you are in our Capitol asking our leaders to restore the Great Lakes.
That means saving them from every lake’s worst nightmare:
Raw Sewage. That’s right. Every year billions of gallons of raw sewage flow into the Great Lakes. Why do these magnificent lakes, the second largest source of surface freshwater in the world, receive a such degrading treatment?
Well, America’s infrastructure is failing, and raw sewage is one of the grosser things we have to show for it. The American Society of Engineers recently gave the United States a “D-” on our wastewater systems, because of the huge quantity of untreated waste water — 850 billion gallons — that are spewed into lakes, rivers and streams every year.
The good news?
New jobs to fix the problem. We have a lot of building and fixing to do if the Great Lakes are going to be free of raw sewage onslaughts. Fixing wastewater systems in the Great Lakes region is expected to require at least 50 thousand new jobs, and is the foundation of our strategy to restore the Lakes.
Luckily, the Stimulus bill will provide 1.45 billion for fixing wastewater infrastructure in the Great Lakes basin through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. That means less raw sewage.
But, “less raw sewage” is still too much. The Great Lakes give us drinking water and important habitat for wildlife. We can do more to protect such important water.
That’s where you come in. You can boost the efforts of the volunteers who are in D.C. this week by sending messages to our legislators and President Obama letting them know how important it is to commit to funding Great Lakes restoration priorities in the months and years ahead.
Jennifer Janssen is the Regional Outreach Coordinator for the Great Lakes Regional Center.