Niagara politicians talk water protection during Great Lakes meeting

Niagara had a few seats at the table as mayors, senators, and premiers came together to discuss the big issues impacting the Great Lakes.

Mayors from St. Catharines, Fort Erie, and Port Colborne met with counterparts from the USA for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

Mayor Walter Sendzik says some of the big issues they are trying to tackle include run-off, the invasion of Asian carp, and climate change.

When it comes to run off, Sendzik says, "What we're seeing over the last 5 years is the heavier the rain storm, the bigger the runoff. And so the farmers are doing what they can to try and keep the fertilizer from getting into the river streams which then get into the lakes. But then you get a deluge and all the efforts of the farmer to keep the nutrients on the field are being washed away, literally." He adds. "As the climate scientists are saying, it's the increase in the volume of water that's coming into basins like The Great Lakes that are causing the problems, getting a significant run off whether it be through the cities or through the farms where you're getting a lot of contaminants coming back into the waterway. And that's where as municipalities we have to look at our systems."

Overall, he says the discussions were positive and The White House even sent a meeting request to the Director of the Initiative.

"Moving forward, the Great Lakes should be a priority for every person who lives within the basin because of the impacts of climate change, we will feel it in our community."