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Great Lakes Air Deposition Program
The Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program is coordinated by the Great Lakes Commission to address the deposition of toxic pollutants to the waters of the Great Lakes region and to promote coordinate efforts to reduce such deposition and the resulting adverse impacts on human and wildlife health. The program supports scientific research, information gathering and collaboration among policy makers.
The GLAD program works with scientific leaders throughout the region to better understand the sources of toxic pollutants, their transport in the environment, their deposition to the Great Lakes basin and the resulting impacts on human health and the Great Lakes ecosystem. By working closely with state, federal, local and international regulators and policy makers, the GLAD program places a large emphasis on promoting scientific efforts that will increase the ability to manage this complicated but urgent environmental issue.
Contamination of the Great Lakes with toxic substances is a well documented problem. For most substances of concern, the major route of entry into the lakes is currently deposition from the atmosphere. Of greatest concern are those chemicals that are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative as they move up the food chain and are toxic to humans or wildlife. These chemicals are commonly referred to as persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs). Among the list of adverse impacts of these chemicals on humans and wildlife are cancer, immune, reproductive and mental dysfunction, and many others.
Tracing the pathway
of these chemicals from emission to atmospheric transport, deposition, distribution
throughout the environment, bioaccumulation, exposure and impacts on human
health and wildlife is a complicated matter. Formation of scientifically
sound environmental management and regulatory programs that ensure
the Great Lakes ecosystem and human health from such chemicals is a continuing
challenge. The GLAD program supports research projects that are aimed at
assisting the Great Lakes states in ensuring such protection.
Nevertheless, further scientific understanding is needed to enable the region to ensure the health of its people, wildlife and natural systems for future generations. The GLAD program pursues such understanding through a suite of projects ranging from monitoring environmental contaminant concentrations and estimating emissions to analyzing trends and source patterns, modeling chemical distribution and assessing impacts. Through the GLAD program, the region's governments, academic institutions and other partners work collectively to further scientifically sound management of atmospheric deposition to the region's water bodies.
The GLAD program helps place the Great Lakes region as a national and world-wide leader in efforts to promote cleaner waters through decreasing inputs from the atmosphere. As many toxic substances travel long distances in the atmosphere, these are truly national and world-wide problems that will require equally broad collaboration and solutions.
View Sponsored Projects
Deposition Monitoring Report
Regional Toxic Air Emissions Inventory