New Video Offers Insight into Great Lakes Investment
When polluted lakes and rivers are cleaned up, local communities can see economic benefits to the tune of billions of dollars, according to the Brookings Institute. A new video, “Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies: The Great Lakes Legacy Act,” offers a rundown on this federal and local partnership program, its procedures and successes.
The 10-minute video, funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes National Program Office, explores Great Lakes waterways blighted by decades of industrial discharges like heavy metals, oil and chemicals such as PCBs and PAHs. The 2002 U.S. Legacy Act created an initiative to clean up contamination in these places, designated areas of concern (AOCs) by the EPA.
The video informs anglers, boaters, marina operators and local businesses of the benefits that can come from a remediated AOC. The procedures and successes are the result of strong partnerships among states, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and businesses. Under this voluntary, collaborative program, the EPA and its nonfederal partners have allocated almost $400 million toward sediment remediation.
“Cleaner lakes and rivers improve human health, fish and wildlife health, recreation, tourism and redevelopment so that residents can better capitalize on these opportunities,” said Caitie McCoy, an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant environmental social scientist and co-producer of the video. McCoy said she’s received lots of positive feedback about the video from AOC stakeholers.
Wisconsin Sea Grant videographer John Karl shot and edited the footage for the video.