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International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes

At this point, we are all aware of the importance of the Great Lakes. In the past, we did take them for granted, dumping in anything that we wanted. Today, thankfully, it’s a different story. These fresh water lakes are the key to the future, and must be protected by all means.

On Tuesday March 28 WNED | WBFO will host the International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes (part of a series of IJC public meetings). The binational treaty organization is looking to collect and record public comments that will help to show the community’s support to protect and restore the the Great Lakes, by Canada and the United States.  

Before the public meeting, there will be a roundtable discussion (1:30 pm – 4:30 pm), which will be moderated by Dave Rosenthal, managing editor of Great Lakes Today (based in Buffalo). It is mainly due to the efforts of Rosenthal and the regional journalism collaborative (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) that the upcoming public meeting and roundtable discussion is being held in Buffalo.

The event is open to the public, starting with a presentation by the IJC titled “You are the Voice of the Great Lakes.” That presentation will be followed by the viewpoints of the following environmental experts:

Community Collaboration for Restoration Action, Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper

Making the Great Lakes the Place to be for Outdoor Recreation, Krystyn Tully, Swim Drink Fish Canada

Emerging Contaminants and Impacts on Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Diana S. Aga, University at Buffalo

Wetland Habitat Restoration Needs for Larval Fish Nursery in the Niagara River, Dr. Alicia Pérez-Fuentetaja, SUNY at Buffalo State

Niagara River Corridor Ramsar Site, a Wetland of International Significance, Jajean Rose-Burney, Western New York Land Conservancy

Alternative Futures for Restored Waterfronts, Sean Burkholder, University at Buffalo

Buffalo Blue, a Sustainable Business Perspective, Mark Shriver, Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable

International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes

Tuesday March 28, 2017

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

WNED Studios | 140 Lower Terrace | Buffalo, NY

To register for the meeting and to read the governments’ and IJC’s progress reports visit

Note:  Both meetings will be streamed live on the WBFO and Great Lakes Today Facebook pages.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Dave

    I haven’t lived in the area since the late 80s, but we visit once a year. Last summer we rented a house at Olcott Beach with friends and 4 kids. The “Beach” was a joke. Full of floating crud. We drove on the Robert Moses Parkway (Abandoned – by the way – NOBODY on the road in the middle of August; like a post zombie attack movie) to some other state Park beach that also had floating crud that the lifeguard warned us about. We tried it. We were THE ONLY people there; the only car in the parking lot. After 10 minutes we left because we didn’t want the kids exposed to whatever that stuff was – you could see it floating and bubbling all over. This was Lake Ontario, which is supposed to be the cleaner of the two lakes. I can’t imagine what Lake Erie is like. Despite all the clean up efforts it seems like there are still decades left to go in my opinion. It’s a real shame. Buffalo is nestled between two of the great lakes. They’re so big they look like oceans. And not a beach to swim in with water that isn’t worrisome to look at. All my kids kept saying was “eww what is that stuff!?”. We ended up going to a pool.

    • “This was Lake Ontario, which is supposed to be the cleaner of the two lakes.”
      …you do realize that Lake Erie dumps into Lake Ontario, right? So whatever Lake Erie has, it doesn’t go through any filtration device before it gets into Ontario… same water.

      Anyway, There are some Lake Ontario beaches that are okay. Olcott is not one of them. I don’t know why they don’t fix it up for being such a quaint town, but the pier reeks of bird sheet, and is very shady to get to any time of the day/year. The beach is narrow and unsafe.

      If you want a good Ontario beach, you either got to trek towards Rochester or Toronto.
      Lake Erie’s only consistently good beach (around WNY) would be Beaver Island. They don’t close it as much as most of the other beaches around Buffalo due to the sewage runoff.

      The best beach on the great lakes that I’ve been to is Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. No admission fee, and there’s at least 10 different beaches. Most of them are lifeguarded, very wide, and sand varies from rough to smooth. It encompasses the entire peninsula, so if there’s too many people at one, then you just go to another.

      In Toronto, the Toronto Islands offers a few great beaches. They’re quaint (well, two of them are… the big one is where all the locals flock to, they’re away from the city life, and one of them is clothing optional.

      • tanklv

        Small point, but Beaver Island is actually on Grand Island, which is in the Niagara River, neither of the Great Lakes.

        And the reason that Beaver Island is good is because the swiftly moving Niagara River, and relatively “straight” beach keeps it clean. The other beaches are probably near eddies or calmer waters, where stuff builds up.

        And don’t forget, we get all the crap that Detroit, Cleveland, etc. puts in the lakes, as we’re downstream of it all. Until and unless those communities do their part like the Niagara Frontier is trying to do, then the problem will persist.

        Maybe some sort of catchment system across the mouth of the Niagara River to filter the debris that come downriver is a solution (keeping in mind the navigation of the River).

    • Dave Rosenthal

      It’s easy to assume that the lakes are really clean because a lot of industry is gone from the shoreline. But there’s a lot of work to be done — and that’s why the Trump budget cuts are so troubling.
      It’s a long haul, but for some amazing beaches, try northern Lake Michigan in the Traverse City area. Turquoise waters like the Caribbean.

    • Meem

      What your describing sounds like Cladophora, a filamentous algae native to the Great Lakes. Its been a nuisance to Lake Ontario beach-goers for a long time .

  • BufChester

    One person’s “protection by all means” is another person’s “job killing regulation.” Unfortunately for the fans of clean water, the POTUS falls into the latter category – big league.

  • joebarrett

    People, listen up. The Lower Great lakes are very sick. They suffer from a stalled conveyor system. It is similar to a colon blockage. the N.Y.P.A. ice boom has held back the normal flow of sediment and nutrients since 1964. It is really taking it’s toll on the environment. If you Google ‘Joe Barrett ice boom” you can read the details on ice boom theory. this most recent meeting was another example of rearranging chairs on a sinking ship. Until the ice flow returns, we are doomed to live among the scuzzy water, green algae, thick ooze and detritus plus the bonus of huge dead zones devoid of all oxygen and botulism for all. Great deal for N.Y.P.A. …., not so much for us. Thank you, Joe Barrett