Great Lakes Cleanup Helps Economy: Report

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A new U.S. report says cleaning up some of the most heavily polluted areas in the Great Lakes region has led to billions of dollars' worth of economic development.

The report highlights 10 places where cleanups have spurred development -- including the Detroit River.

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The study conducted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research in Michigan says the cleanup has also brought communities closer together.

Report author John Hartig says cleaning up the waterways has had a spinoff effect.

"The cleanup of these areas of concern, and there are ten case studies has lead to reconnecting people to these waterways which has led to economic revitalization and community revitalization."

Hartig says with clean waterways have had a ripple effect.

"It is a cascading effect that occurs and we need to sustain funding programs to be able to benefit from all this work," adds Hartig.

He tells AM800 News the Detroit River was one of the most polluted areas in North America in the 1960s

"It is one of the most remarkable ecological recovery stories in North America because of how polluted it was literally 40 to 50 years ago."

But the report says work remains on most of the 43 harbours, river mouths and other spots highlighted as areas of concern in the 1980's due to contamination of toxic waste.