Canada’s 10-Year Pledge to Improve Great Lakes Health, Climate Crusader, Lori Caldwell, Coral Reefs Sue U.S. Marine Fisheries!

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Canada’s 10-Year Pledge to Improve Great Lakes Health, Climate Crusader, Lori Caldwell, Coral Reefs Sue U.S. Marine Fisheries!



Canada has pledged a significant increase in spending to improve water quality in the Great Lakes following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month. Trudeau said his government would spend $420 million — about $306 million in U.S. dollars — over the next decade on the lakes. Said Trudeau, “The Great Lakes are a source of drinking water for 40 million people, and this shared resource needs to be protected. This is why Canada will make a major new investment … to continue safeguarding the Great Lakes for generations to come.”

The U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, started by President Barack Obama in 2010, has pumped some $4 billion into projects aimed at fixing those problems, with annual spending averaging between $300 million to 400 million. Canada, meanwhile, had committed just $33 million in U.S. dollars to cleanup efforts between 2017 and 2022. Trudeau’s pledge Friday drew praise from those who had pushed for a bigger Canadian contribution. Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat, said the lakes “are a resource both nations share, and it is incumbent on us all to invest in its health and future.”

Why does Canada’s pledge matter to us? The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are the world’s largest surface freshwater system, providing drinking water for some 40 million people and supporting a regional economy in eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. And also because they’re a large part of the only 4% of all water on Earth that is freshwater.

Gino Moretti, Mayor of Saint-Anicet in Quebec and Vice-Chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, added, “Canada’s promised increase is a significant step towards ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of our freshwater resources.



As reported by The Climate Daily, LA Urban Farmer Ron Finley calls farming “gangsta.” Caldwell is cut from the same cloth. She admits gardening can easily be overlooked as an act of resistance, but in reality, teaching people to create sustainable gardening environments helps connect communities to their land, putting the power and agency to grow food and herbs back into the people’s hands. Gangsta.

Lori Caldwell’s mantra: “Connecting people to the soil and all that it provides.” Caldwell is based in northern California’s East Bay city of Martinez, CA. The East Bay, though adjacent to California’s Central Valley, aka “America’s Fresh Produce Basket” suffers from food deserts in many of its low-to-moderate income communities.  Caldwell’s goal is to empower these communities to return to a century ago, when families grew their own. That’s why she offers sustainable gardening classes covering composting, healthy soil building, native plants Also Integrated Pest Management for beginning and intermediate home gardeners. She also provides onsite composting consultation and management for homes and businesses, and sheet mulching conversion installation services. Lori’s goal is to help people in the community build beautiful sustainable gardens. 

Check out the EcoCalendar to register for one of Lori’s upcoming classes! 

DEEPER DIVE: EcoCalendar 



According to the Associated Press, an environmental group filed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of failing to protect 12 endangered coral species across the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean that have been decimated by warming waters, pollution and overfishing. The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said it filed the lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service more than two years after the agency proposed to protect more than 6,000 square miles worth of coral habitat but never did so.

The critical habitat designation would cover 5,900 square miles off Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. It also would cover 230 square miles around islands including Guam and American Samoa in the Pacific. Such a designation could improve water quality in the coastal zone, limit excessive fishing and protect spawning grounds, according to the environmental group, which said “absent bold and immediate action” coral reefs worldwide could collapse over the coming century.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said the agency does not comment on litigation. The Caribbean has five endangered species of coral, including the mountainous star coral, which is largely brown with fluorescent green streaks, and the pillar coral, which was moved from vulnerable to the endangered category in December. The other seven endangered species in the Pacific include the acropora jacquelineae, which resembles a flat plate that can grow up to three feet (1 meter) long.

Corals worldwide have suffered die-offs from pollution, diseases, acidification, over-fishing and an event known as “coral bleaching,” which is caused by warming oceans as a result of climate change. Overall, 23 coral species, which are the building blocks of reefs, are listed as endangered and six as critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.