Split pea soup – that’s how some folks describe the Great Lakes back when it was plagued by contamination, pollution and algae. A lot has changed since then.
During the Nature Conservancy conference last week, Jerry Dennis, author of "The Living Great Lakes," described how far the lakes have come.
Dennis’s deep connection with the Great Lakes starts on the shores of Lake Michigan.
"Age five I watched the changes of the lakes, the good stuff and the bad stuff. I definitely think it’s in my blood," he said. "My grandfather was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard when it was called the U.S. Lifesaving Service back in the old days."
Dennis was one of many speakers at the conference in downtown Buffalo. The topics of discussion included invasive species, native fish restoration and water quality.
The conservancy’s executive director Jim Howe says, it’s an opportunity for conservation groups to share their successes and goals.
“We have lots of ambitious, but I think, very reasonable goals to achieve here in the Great Lakes," Howe said. "All around protecting the lands and waters of this region, not just for nature but for people too.”