Health Of Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River Topic Of 'Public Eye'

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When it comes to the overall health of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is the worst.

That's what a three-year study found performed by the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project.

It's the topic of Friday's Public Eye on WPBS-TV.

The map takes data from more than 30 different pollutants, or stressors, that are in the Great Lakes, like invasive species, algae and run-offs from farms.

The map shows red where things are the worst.

And Lake Ontario is pretty much all red.

Public Eye guests include Save the River Executive Director Lee Willbanks, who the St. Lawrence River is not on the map, but if it were he knows what it would say.

"When you look at where the St. Lawrence River is in the whole system, and the fact that everything that starts 3,400 miles inland in Superior flows right into us," Willbanks said, "we have to imagine, and I believe our experience bears out, that it's going to be red."

"When you talk about the Great Lakes, the real area right now which is under threat is that near-shore zone," said Dr. Greg Boyer, who was part of the research team.

"That's where all the pollutants are coming down the rivers, they're getting trapped in there," he said, "that's the important fish spawning grounds that are really important that they be maintained.

"That's where people work and play," he added.

WWNY teams up with WPBS to put together Public Eye.

It airs Friday night.

Friday, July 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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