As a reminder of the 2014 water emergency, which impacted everyone who lived in Toledo, the Lake Erie Advocates primary mission is to keep the lake healthy, which in turn keeps the Toledo residents healthy as well.
In early August of 2014, Toledo residents and residents near Lake Erie were alerted with urgent warnings to not drink or use their tap water. Nearly half a million people were unable to drink their water, cook with it or even brush their teeth. This was all due to the harmful toxins that were released during algal bloom that was growing in the lake, caused by agricultural runoff pollution. This order of no drinking or usage of tap water lasted three days, but the lessons learned have continued to this day.
The Lake Erie Advocates, especially, are trying to teach those lessons to everyone who lives near this lake so we can all work to keep Lake Erie healthy so another algal bloom doesn’t occur in the future.
Lake Erie Advocates conducts public education and actions to expose the environmental threats caused by factories, farms and other sources. In 2016, when Lake Erie Advocates was founded, the primary goal was to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforce the Clean Water Act. However, over the years, the advocates have learned that the EPA is limited and how ineffective most proposed solutions are.
The new solution is to get more people and local officials taught and involved to not only fix the issues, but prevent them from occurring.
To introduce and teach this topic to more people in order to get more involved to make changes, the Lake Erie Advocates have presented to many local organizations to gain more attention and help. Some of these local organizations that have hosted the Lake Erie Advocates include West Toledo YMCA, Point Place Library, Yogaja Yoga, Western Lake Erie Sierra Club, the Frederick Douglass Center and more. These are just a few of the around 45 organizations that the advocates have presented.
These advocates have also started presenting and educating students at the local high schools, such as Springfield High School, in order to teach the younger generations so they can work to keep the lake healthy in the future as well.
Overall, the Lake Erie Advocates is a local Toledo originated group whose efforts go into teaching and presenting at local organizations and people to help keep Lake Erie as safe and healthy as possible. The Lake Erie Advocates, aside from raising attention about water health safety and reaching out to local officials, also meet every fourth Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St., with anyone who would like to get involved in creating a step to keep Lake Erie safe for all local residents.
For more information, visit lakeerieadvocates.org.