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For the purpose of addressing specific requirements of the International Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Protocol, the Great Lakes Action Plan was developed by participating Federal agencies on the basis of several issues. The Agriculture and Agri-food Canada program addressed the following issues: land based pollution sources, contaminated sediments, and airborne contaminants. The specific objectives that Agriculture and Agri-food Canada addressed in the Great Lakes initiative were as follows:

  • develop criteria to determine which pesticide classes pose a threat to the Great Lakes environment and develop recommendations for abatement
  • establish the relative importance of the biophysical mechanisms by which agricultural chemicals can degrade surface and subsurface water quality
  • develop and recommend for adoption sustainable agricultural production systems which require fewer inputs and are less conducive to transport of agricultural chemicals
  • estimate the loading of agricultural chemicals to the Great Lakes from non-point sources.
  • develop a biomonitoring system to assess the impact of agricultural chemicals on the sediments in stream water environments
  • determine atmospheric deposition of pesticides as it relates to agricultural practices and atmospheric contamination

The Great Lakes Water Quality (GLWQ) Program strove to develop technologies which will help farmers be effective stewards of the land and water resources, as well as to improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin.

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