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Global Climate Issues and Our Great Lakes- Why All of It Matters to Our Community:

Global climate issues and our Great Lakes- why all of it matters to our community:

Western New York thrives on the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Our lives and economy rely on the health of these two significant global freshwater resources. Our Great Lakes are also two of the most vulnerable waterbodies in the world, susceptible to a variety of negative impacts associated with a rapidly changing climate. Our region is already seeing the effects of climate change- trending warmer weather, less ice cover, more erratic weather events, invasive species, and more frequent and bigger storms. These conditions lead to increased stormwater runoff events, which result in increased erosion, flooding, and more sewage overflow into our lakes and rivers. Toxic algae blooms are on the rise, due in part to excessive run-off of nutrient-rich stormwater, and ecosystems and habitats may be permanently altered.

Yesterday’s decision by the White House to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord is ill-informed and disappointing. Conversely, the simultaneous announcement from the governors of New York, California and Washington state to form the US Climate Alliance is one alternative approach to allow US innovation and concerned citizens to continue to contribute to a global solution to climate change.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper remains committed to our community and future generations as we must directly address the scientific reality of climate change. Our work continues on living shorelines that are intentionally designed to be “climate resilient”. Our work continues in Washington and Albany to support clean water policies and legislation. Our work continues to sustain the lifeblood of our community – our Great Lakes.