Worried about the Great Lakes? Save these dates

Mar 6, 2017

The bi-national group that helps regulate the Great Lakes is touring to hear residents' concerns. The International Joint Commission tour comes as President Trump's budget plans surface -- including a proposal to slash funds for reviving the lakes.

So if you want to be heard, save a tour date.

Proposals in a Trump administration draft budget would cut annual funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million. The funds support thousands of projects related to cleaning up the five lakes, and a number of U.S. legislators have criticized the plan.

The IJC tour includes meetings in Detroit, Toledo, Buffalo and three Ontario cities.

Lana Pollack, chairperson for the IJC’s U.S. section, says commissioners want to listen to local concerns -- and see what the six areas have in common.

In January, the commission released a draft assessment outlining several broad concerns such as industrial contamination and invasive species.

At the public meetings, local experts will discuss these issues. And residents can sound off about the commission's work -- or other issues related to the Great Lakes. 

Here's the meeting schedule:

Ontario and Michigan public meeting held March 2 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Ont., roundtable and public meeting

  • March 21
  • Roundtable discussion from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  public meeting at 6 p.m.
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater, Detroit

Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., public roundtable

  • March  22
  • 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Lochiel Kiwanis Community Centre, 180 North College Ave., Sarnia, Ont.

Toledo, Ohio, public meeting, University of Toledo

  • March 23
  • 6 p.m.
  • Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bay Shore Road, Oregon, Ohio

Buffalo, N.Y., roundtable and public meeting

  • March 28
  • Roundtable discussion from 1:30 p.m.– 4:30 p.m. , public meeting at 6:00 pm
  • WNED-WBFO Studio, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, N.Y.

St. Catharines, Ont., and Niagara Falls public roundtable

  • March 29
  • 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Alumni Hall, St. Catharines Rowing Club, Henley Island, 600 Ontario Street,  St. Catharines, Ont.