Adopted May 18, 2016
Revised July 10, 2022
Lake Erie Advocates will work as if the water emergency of August 2014 is ongoing, to vigorously safeguard the health of our lake.
We will conduct public education and actions to expose the environmental threats caused by factory "farms" and other sources.
When we first adopted this statement in May, 2016 we believed getting an impaired designation for Lake Erie and having the EPA enforce the Clean Water Act would adequately address the problem of annual harmful algal blooms. Since then we have learned 1) how very limited the EPA is; 2) how ineffective the proposed solutions are; 3) how brutal the conditions are for animals and workers in this industry.
This experience has led us to believe there is no "fixing" this industry, it must be banned.
Furthermore, before the mid 1990's there were no factory "farms" in our watershed and no one waited in lines for the next shipment of pork chops, hamburger, milk or eggs. Without massive public subsidies and lax regulation, this industry would not exist.
Impaired status also acknowledges that a problem does exist. It addresses the problem head on, rather than relying on voluntary pollution reduction programs. Ohio EPA Deputy Director for Lake Erie Policy, Karl Gebhardt and others have said that an impaired designation would put a "bad mark" on our region. The bad mark is already well known. You can even see it from outer space.