Residents draw attention to challenges facing Lake Erie with #WeAreLakeErie Day


Ontarians are demanding urgent action to protect Lake Erie on social media with #WeAreLakeErie Day. 

Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation are looking to protect the lake as it continues to be plagued by toxic algal blooms.

Today marks the sixth annual event where social media users will share their Lake Erie stories as well as photos using the hashtag to help showcase their support to protecting the lake and the drinking water for millions of people.

Michelle Woodhouse, the Water Program Manager with Environmental Defence, says they're hoping the hashtag will trend on social media for provincial and federal leaders to see.

She says Environmental Defence is hoping the hashtag will trend on social media to grab the attention of provincial and federal leaders.

"Just kind of remind elected officials and each other how much this lake really means to us. Just to kind of shine a light on just how great this lake is and how much that we could actually lose if we don't take meaningful action on protecting Lake Erie."

She says today is important for the future of the lake.

"To do more and making sure that we are taking the kind of actions that we need, but we also do need to do more in understanding the science of that play as we're figuring out how we're going to adapt to different environmental issues that are coming at us from a lot of different directions."

Woodhouse says run off from fertilizer on farms is a big issue, and that something needs to be done at a higher level. 

"What we need to see happen is for governments and industry to work together to make sure that we're addressing these environmentally harmful and unsustainable farming practices such as the over-application of fertilizer."

Toxic algae blooms are caused by nutrient pollution caused by too much phosphorus entering the lake watershed from runoff from farms when it rains. 

The federal and provincial governments have said they are committed to reducing phosphorus levels by 40 percent by 2025, however it's unclear of the progress being made to Lake Erie.